Jones to serve as ambassador to Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
MADISON – This summer, Sydnee Jones, a junior at Bob Jones High School, will serve as a student ambassador to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua with the Central American Youth Exchange Program.
Global Ties Alabama, in partnership with Georgetown University, sponsors the exchange program.
Jones’ adventure will start on May 28 with a student trip that Bob Jones’ science and Spanish departments are coordinating to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. They will visit Quito, Ecuador’s capital, and the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos.
“We’ll get to use our Spanish a lot. It will be a very educational tour,” Jones said. She has take five years of Spanish at Bob Jones and qualified for and serves as secretary in National Spanish Honor Society with 3.8 GPA in Spanish courses.
For the exchange program, delegates must be U.S. citizens, 15-18 years old, in public high school, complete volunteer work, have finished intermediate level Spanish and show maturity and open-mindedness.
“Ever since I could speak, I wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country. Some people are born talented athletes … or very smart. I was born with the ability to speak Spanish naturally,” Jones said. “I’m interested in all different backgrounds and foods of all Latinos.”
After training three days in Washington D.C., Jones and other ambassadors first will visit the Dominican Republic and then Nicaragua for the last half of the trip, staying with host families. Along with sightseeing, they will volunteer in communities and pursue hands-on workshops, field trips, cultural outings and social events.
At Bob Jones, she also is a member of National Honor Society. “Last year, I won second place at the state Spanish convention in Tuscaloosa in reading for the Spanish 3 category,” she said.
Acceptance in honor societies has been a major achievement for Jones. “Finally being accepted into this exchange program would have to outweigh all of my high school accomplishments,” Jones said.
Her mother, Tina A. Jones, works in accounting at Crestwood Medical Center.