German Travel Scholarships

Arrowhead Park High School students with their German travel scholarship checks of $500 each – tucked into yellow envelopes. Next to the students are representatives of the scholarship sponsors. (Photo by Monica Aguinaga)

Seven students from Arrowhead Park Early College High School (APECHS) each earned $500 scholarships to help cover travel expenses for their upcoming trip to Nienburg, Germany, a German sister-city to Las Cruces which has an ongoing exchange student program.

A total of 12 APECHS students and two teachers will travel to the German city for a three-week long trip where they will experience family, community and school life, according to officials from the Las Cruces Sister Cities Foundation. This past fall 16 German exchange students, and their teacher and principal, visited Las Cruces as part of the exchange program.

Four of the $500 scholarships we awarded by Las Cruces-Nienburg Sister Cities Affiliation to: Katie Heitman, Marina Moore, Diego Robinson, and Charlotte Stalker; Two of $500 scholarships were awarded by “Freunde der deutschen Sprache/Friends of the German Language” to: Jennifer Bencomo and Brynna Garrison; and the final $500 “Gavin Luchini Memorial Scholarship” was awarded to Laylah Russell.

In preparation for their trip to Germany, all 12 APECHS students completed Oklahoma State University’s German Level 1 Online course. In addition, seven of them completed 18 hours of additional practice learning conversation skills in an additional class, “Deutsche Konversation”, which meets every Wednesday before school. Three of the students also shared $250 which Hermann Martens, the first Albert-Schweitzer-Schule German American Partnership Program (GAPP) partnership sponsor, awarded to “Konversation” students with the best attendance and diligence.

The student exchange program started in 1986 between Albert-Schweitzer-Schule/Nienburg and Mayfield High School (MHS), where it continued for more than twenty years. Afterwards, the program then moved to Centennial High School and finally to APECHS.

The exchange program is part of GAPP and the Las Cruces-Nienburg Sister Cities Affiliation, which was created in 1993 as a direct result of the student exchange program.

Nienburg is situated on the banks of the Weser River in northwestern Germany in the state of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), a short distance from Hannover. It is a county seat and cultural center with a population of approximately 33,000. Nienburg is home to about 30 schools including a technical college and several manufacturing plants which serve northern Germany.

For more information, contact LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, pdahlgren@lcps.net, (575) 527-5808