My name is Rye Hazlett, I am a junior at Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Avondale, Louisiana, and I’ve recently been given the amazing opportunity to study abroad this summer through the Oxbridge Academic Programs. I’m VERY excited. This is a month long program in which I will be studying creative writing and oceanography at the University of St. Andrews in SCOTLAND! If you’re interested, you can read about my program here:
And here are the courses I’ll be taking:
Creative Writing: Students compose fiction and poetry under the guidance of a published writer, with Scotland’s rich literary history as their inspiration. Successful authors give workshops about the creative process and the practicalities of publication. Students develop a portfolio of their writing and collaborate to publish a literary magazine.
Oceanography: Working on St Andrews’ striking coastline and exploiting the city’s unique oceanographic resources, students consider mankind’s changing use of the sea, issues of climate change and pollution, the introduction of alien species, evolutionary biology, and the impact of fishing practices on biodiversity.
Many of you know that I’ve had a lifelong interest in creative writing and that I have taken workshops at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and at the University of New Orleans focusing on poetry and personal narrative. The writing course at St. Andrews will be an opportunity for me to focus on strengthening my work in a culturally-rich environment. Oceanography is a new interest of mine, but again, as many of you may know, I LOVE whales. This course will allow me to study some of the most amazing, mysterious, and powerful marine phenomena. I’ve grown up on a coast that is extremely susceptible to global warming and the effects of sea rise, and I know, after living through Hurricane Katrina, exactly how much oceans can impact our lives.
I’m hoping to combine the two subjects by writing about oceans and our natural environment for a general readership. I also plan to prepare for this trip by reading more about Scotland and its culture, in hopes that it will enrich my experience even more and give me a deeper knowledge of the country before setting off on my own for a month. I've traveled with my family before, but I am eager to travel on my own now and to take in the customs and world views of people outside my own Louisiana sphere. And I expect this trip to change my life and my view of myself and the world in big ways!
The total cost of the program is about $8300, and that doesn't include the cost of the flight or living expenses. So I'm working at Chick-Fil-A and saving up my own money for the trip. My parents and grandparents will also be helping me with some of the tuition and airfare. In addition, the Oxbridge Academic Programs have awarded me an Exceptional Merit Scholarship of $2500. That will all help a lot, but I will still need to raise about $4000 to cover the rest of the tuition and living expenses. The due date for the first payment is May 4, so we’re eager to get the ball rolling on our fundraising campaign. If you are able to donate, I will make sure that your generosity is put to the very best use, and even if you don't donate, I appreciate the time you took to read this. Thanks!
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