Lynwood – Four Lynwood High School students will experience Japanese tea ceremonies in Tokyo, taste paella in Alicante, Spain, and learn German while traveling through Berlin this summer after earning Global Navigator Scholarships that will allow them to study abroad this summer.

Junior Melanie Pacheco will venture to Spain, juniors Crystal Cervantes and Daniel Perez will visit Germany and freshman Alicia Norberto will spend time in Japan during four-week trips in June and July that immerse the students in language and culture.

“I have never really traveled outside of the state, so it’s a good opportunity to see the world and broaden my horizon,” Pacheco said. “I also want to improve my Spanish, and I know that their Spanish differs from what I speak so I’m interested to see the differences.”

Each LUSD student will be joined on their travels by approximately 40 high school students from around the U.S. The participants will receive 60 hours of language instruction while spending time with a host family to share meals and learn local customs. Students will also receive college credit.

The Global Navigator program is run by the Council on International Exchange, a nonprofit organization promoting international education. The LUSD students applied for the program by writing essays that shared their personal stories and expressed their desire to travel abroad. Applicants must demonstrate leadership, and in some cases, must be at a competent level of foreign language – the trip to Alicante requires students to speak Spanish at all times.

The program offers 18 destinations to choose from.

“In history, I learned about the Berlin Wall and Germany looks like such a beautiful country to visit,” Perez said. “I like the language as well. I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over the world and sharing experiences with them.”

Cervantes said she has not traveled much beyond Lynwood and has her heart set on tasting the chocolate and cheese in Germany. She and Perez both study in Lynwood High’s biomedical pathway program and spend free time volunteering at St. Francis Medical Center.

Norberto is fascinated with Japanese culture, from anime, to sushi and kimonos. She has dreams of one day becoming an international architect and is motivated to learn Japanese.

“Giving our students the opportunity to travel the world will be a life-changing experience for them,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “This will open their eyes to the possibilities that exist beyond their community and continue to fuel their ambition.”

The students were encouraged to pursue the Global Navigator program by counselors and educators who observed their capacity for foreign language and appetite for personal growth.

“Congratulations to these four students who were rewarded for fearlessly exploring success and new experiences,” LUSD Board President Gary Hardie Jr. said. “Their travels will help broaden the scope of their peers and inspire their own pursuits.”


012319_LUSD_SCHOLAR: Lynwood High School students Alicia Norberto, Daniel Perez, Melanie Pacheco and Crystal Cervantes (left to right) were awarded Global Navigator Scholarships that will allow them to study abroad this summer.