Seal of Biliteracy Achievement Scholarship​

This Year's Theme

What does achieving the Seal of Biliteracy mean to you, and how do you think being bilingual will affect your future? 

Announcing the Winners

First Place Winner: Victoria Cuellar Garcia

Teacher: Karen Beavers

Victoria’s submission stood out among the entries because it evoked a genuine emotional response from the viewers. Her sincere and authentic delivery touched our hearts, leaving a lasting impact.

One aspect that particularly caught our attention was how skillfully Victoria showcased her bilingualism in her video submission. By seamlessly switching between English and Spanish, she demonstrated her proficiency in both languages, highlighting her cultural background and linguistic versatility. This ability not only added depth to her presentation but also showcased her inclusiveness and accessibility to a wider audience.

Furthermore, Victoria’s personal story as an immigrant resonated deeply with us. She shared her experiences, challenges, and triumphs, giving us a glimpse into her life and the journey she undertook. Her narrative was not only captivating but also shed light on the broader issues faced by immigrant communities. Victoria’s willingness to open up and share her story demonstrated her courage and vulnerability, creating a strong connection with the audience.

We were also impressed with Victoria’s teacher’s video nomination. Karen Beavers spoke passionately about Victoria’s story and her strong connection to her roots and community. She conveyed Victoria’s sense of passion and dedication to others that was truly inspiring. Victoria exemplifies the values of compassion, empathy, and resilience. Her commitment to making a positive impact on her community was evident, and it left us with a lasting impression of her character and values.

Second Place Winner: Mailey Hamilton

Teacher: Angela Barrera

Mailey’s submission to the contest earned her second place due to her remarkable dedication, perseverance, and growth throughout her Spanish language learning journey. Her teacher’s essay highlighted her outstanding achievements, involvement, and continuous efforts in becoming bilingual.

Mailey became the first person in her district, town, and a significant portion of northern Michigan to attain the Seal of Biliteracy. Her accomplishment not only demonstrated her personal growth but also put her town of East Jordan on the map of Seal recipients in Michigan, inspiring other students to pursue this achievement as well. Mailey’s success served as a powerful message that hard work and determination can lead to remarkable results.

Third Place Winner: Rachel DeAngelis

Teacher: Wendy Canty

Rachel’s submission to the contest earned her third place due to her passion, dedication, and the transformative impact her language learning journey had on her. Her teacher’s submission further highlighted Rachel’s exceptional work ethic and her unwavering commitment to achieving the Seal of Biliteracy. Despite not achieving passing scores in her junior year, Rachel’s setback only fueled her drive to improve her French language proficiency to finally attain this achievement in her senior year.

Rachel’s motivation to continue studying French despite questions from others about its utility showcased her genuine joy and fulfillment in her language studies. She sees learning French as a gateway to a broader world, expanding her capacity to communicate with a wider range of individuals.

Third Place Winner #2: Elani Spencer

Teacher: Nicole Robinson

Elani’s third place ranking in the contest is well-deserved based on her passion for Spanish, her dedication to overcoming challenges, and her exceptional accomplishments. Both Elani’s and her teacher’s submissions highlight Elani’s remarkable growth and achievements in both English and Spanish, emphasizing her outstanding qualities as a student. Elani’s heartfelt story of overcoming shyness and challenges demonstrates determination, perseverance, and the willingness to embrace the challenges to learn a new language.

Honorable Mentions

Leyla Murati

Teacher: Jose Dominguez

Rye High School, Rye, New York

Arely Guadalupe

Teacher: Rebecca Castro

Wheeling High School, Wheeling, Illinois

Evan Thoms

Teacher: Megan Probasco

Coronado High School, Coronado, California