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Press Release

Thursday, June 13, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Florida Students Win National Competition

~ Seven high school seniors win scholarships to Germany ~

Tallahassee, Fla., June 13, 2013 - Seven Florida high school seniors have competed and won scholarships to travel abroad for the 2013-2014 school year. Only 25 finalists were selected from across the United States, making Florida home to nearly one third of the winners. The Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange Scholarship allows students from the U.S. to attend school in Germany, learn the language, explore the culture and gain professional experience while interning with a German company.

"During this year abroad, these students will gain knowledge and experiences that will prepare them for college and career," said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. "This program allows Florida's top-notch students to act as ambassadors for our state and nation."

The seven Florida finalists are

  • Benjamin Browne, Mosley High School, Bay County
  • Rachel Hardbarger, Astronaut High School, Brevard County
  • James Lloyd, Bucholz High School, Alachua County
  • Steffany Medina, Titusville High School, Brevard County
  • Hannah Pustejovsky, Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami-Dade County
  • Linh Sack, Dr. Phillips High School, Orange County
  • Skylar Sorensen, South Lake High School, Lake County

Past participants have been placed in internships in diverse fields like the arts, architecture, information technology, culinary arts, healthcare, international affairs and journalism. The scholarship recipients head to Washington, D.C. in early July to begin the experience before flying to Germany for two months of intensive German language training. The students will then be paired with their host families before beginning their internships.

The scholarship was developed by the United States Congress and the German Bundestag (Parliament) to strengthen ties between our two countries. Nacel Open Door administers the program and supports the students. The Division of Career and Adult Education with the Florida Department of Education assists with logistics and student interviews.

More information about the Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange Scholarship program.