DPAC Junior Selected as Finalist for State Department Program to Study Mandarin in China

Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus High School (DPACHS) junior, Alisha Graves, is an excellent scholar, a cheerleader, and a recent international traveler. She was selected to go to Italy on DPAC’s inaugural international trip as a part of Democracy Prep’s Global Citizens Program. Soon she will be adding another country to her résumé. This summer, Alisha will live in China for five weeks to study Mandarin in an immersive language program run by the United States State Department.

Alisha Graves

“I really want to see how they function,” said Alisha. “Is their day just like our’s where we wake up and go straight to school everyday?”

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program was created to encourage young Americans to learn Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi, Korean, Bahasa Indonesia, Persian, Russian, and Turkish.

“I’m most excited to go to the school to see how their school system works,” said Alisha. “I was confused about why I would be going to school during the summer. I’m excited to see how they learn and how it’s different from what we do here.”

Alisha will attend a local school in Xiao, China, and live with a host family during the program. She’s curious about what the life of a Chinese student is like.

“When they come home, do they relax and do homework? Do they have after school activities? Do they go to a movie or a museum? What do they do when they are hanging out?”

Her recent international trip to Italy helped Alisha feel prepared for her time in China.

“In China, I will have to take public transportation by myself,” said Alisha. “Traveling to Italy helped me learn how to use public transportation. We had to take the train to get anywhere in Italy, so I’m more comfortable with public transportation now.”

Find out more about the NSLI-Y program here.

Stay In Touch