Friday, March 23, 2012


Yesterday when I was driving (yes, I got my license, by the way!), I got a phone call from a strange number. Usually I don't answer calls unless I know the number, but for some reason I decided to answer. I'm so glad I did! It was a local AFS volunteer calling to inform me that I was one of the fall 2012 Speedwell FULL scholarship winners! I was told I would get a follow up email today, as I did. Here's what it said-

"Dear Paige Rothfus and family,

Congratulations!  You have received the following AFS scholarship award for your upcoming AFS program to Spain:
Sponsor/Scholarship Name    
Speedwell Study Abroad Scholarship (Speedwell Study Abroad Scholarship)

The email had more to it but basically said that I have to sign an acceptance form, and write a thank you letter. I am also required to consider becoming an AFS volunteer and write a post essay about my experience in Spain and how it impacted my life.

My pre-departure orientation is coming up soon! It is on Saturday, May 19th from 10am-5pm and all Speedwell recipients and one parent are required to attend.

I just wanted to say how truly thankful I am to have an opportunity like this. To be honest, if it wasn't for the Speedwell scholarship, studying abroad for a year would be close to impossible. Words can't even describe how grateful I am. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

bits and pieces

While some people have heard of his name, many still have not. His name is Joseph Kony. He is one of the few who inflicts injustice and violence upon the world. The goal isn't to make him famous, but instead spread awareness of what is occurring. No matter where you are, take some time to watch this touching video. Remember- awareness raises knowledge, causing action.

On a side note, multiple AFS volunteers informed me that all Speedwell recipients will know their status on/after March 19th. There are thirty full scholarships available to seventeen counties in the Susquehanna Valley Area Team. Luckily, Lancaster and Lebanon counties are given priority and it's first come, first served. I was also informed that I was the first to submit my Speedwell application, so hopefully it's only good news from here! I would be more than grateful for a full scholarship covering $13,500.

I have crossed all the major hurdles, and the Speedwell Scholarship is the last one! Well, besides getting a visa and my host family!

Some non exchange related news: I got a new job and I have orientation tomorrow! Then I have SATs on Saturday. I'm totally going to wing it too, so I'm somewhat nervous. On Saint Patrick's Day, March 17th, I go for my license! I'm pretty confident that I'll do well...hopefully. Life has been getting busier and busier, especially with school and my college class. It will all be worth it in the end, though. I mean, spending a year in Spain is priceless.


Monday, March 05, 2012

AFS-Spain, accepted!

As of today, I can finally "officially" say that i'm spending my senior year in Spain! Like every other day, my third period- Spanish four- is nothing out of the ordinary. After our daily lesson, my teacher dedicates the last ten or so minutes of class to watching Family Feud, the game show. Before watching the game show, I decided to check my phone (which I surprisingly rarely do). My phone lit up with an email notification, and I had a gut feeling that it would only bring good news. After waiting a minute for my phone to load, I saw it was an email from AFS-USA, with the title "AFS: You have been accepted by Spain!" I didn't even bother opening up the rest of the email, because I knew exactly what it meant. Everything was now official. As soon as I learned of this great news, I ran over to my best friend across the room and we both started screaming and freaking out, while everyone stared at us. It then hit me that this used to be a far off, distant dream and now it's an all too true reality. I started to cry, right there in front of my entire class. When I told my Spanish teacher of my acceptance, she gave me a hug and then let me go to the bathroom to call my mom (which just ended up with more frantic freaking out). I would say today is shaping up to be a pretty awesome day!

In case you were wondering, the email I got was this:

"Hi Paige,

Congratulations! AFS-Spain has just accepted your application!
Next, AFS-Spain will match you with a host family*.  This is a complex process and may take some time.  It is common for host family information to be provided during the month prior to your departure.  Once we have confirmed the details of your host family placement, they will be available on your AFS Account- check there for updates!"
There was a little more to the email, but it was just information on medical coverage, immunizations, and visa work.

So, it's 100% official. I will be leaving for Spain in less than six months. Now, I just have to wait (and wait and wait even longer) for my host family and placement information! That's all the updates I have for now! I'm so happy!