St. A’s student selected for Rotary Exchange to Poland
One of St. Anthony’s top students will be off to Poland next September after being recognized for her hard work and openness by the Drumheller Rotary Club.
Veronica Felisilda, Grade 11, was selected for the Rotary Exchange program to study in Poland for her Grade 12 year next year, but Felisilda said the choice of the eastern European country was a bit of a surprise.
“I was asking ‘why Poland?’ My top choices were France, Italy, and Spain. I didn’t know anything about Poland except perogies and sausage, so it’s time for me to explore and learn more about the culture and language,” says Felisilda, who’s already hitting the Pol- ish language books and online courses and researching social norms and faux pas.
“She interviewed very well and was well- spoken and open minded,” said the Rotary Club’s Michelle Kendell.
Along with her grades and her involvment in the Drumheller Fillipino Society, and open minded quality of hers that Rotary saw is actually the exact reason Felisilda is looking forward to the exchange, which will have her completing a year of Grade 12 in Po- land before coming back to Drumheller for another year of Grade 12 schooling to receive her diploma.
“My older brother was my inspiration – he studied in Japan and I saw his growth. He became very open minded and it inspired me, that I wanted to be like that and explore and learn. There’s a lot happening in the world,” said Felisilda.
Although she doesn’t know yet if university is in her future, Felisilda said she is in a good spot to figure out what path she wants to follow.
“I think meeting people (in Poland) will help me find out what I want to do, through talking with different people and seeing a new culture and how they do things.”
Felisilda, who is originally from the Phillipines, says her adjustment to Canada will help her get used to Poland, too.
The Rotary Youth Exchange is a study-abroad opportunity which sees more than 8,000 students aged 15-19 learn abroad. Rotary arranges host families and room and board for the students, and local Rotary clubs provide airfare, insurance, travel documents, and spending money.
Veronica Felisilda.... Rotary Exchange student