While many students are relaxing this summer, Ian Markham will embark on a fast-paced educational adventure.
Markham, a senior at Andrean High School, will study in Gatchina, Russia for six weeks with a host family via the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the program seeks to introduce students to less commonly taught languages and cultures.
Markham will leave for Russia June 20 and will study the language as well as visit museums and events in nearby St. Petersburg.
“In March, I was selected one of the 600 or so recipients. At first I was in complete disbelief, but I feel that this is a great honor, and I am very excited,” he said of the trip.“I have always been interested in geography, foreign cultures, and politics, and especially those of Russia and the Caucasus (region).”
“I hope to master the Russian language as well as discover the culture and build lasting relationships with my host family and peers,” he added.
Markham also hopes to develop contacts with the U.S. Department of State, as he aspires to be a U.S. ambassador. “I would love to attend either Georgetown or Yale and study international relations and foreign languages,” he said.
A member of the National Honor Society and the African-American History Club, Markham is active in theater and the glee club at Andrean and participates in track and field and cross country. He is the son of Daniel and Kemberly Markham, of Portage.