Now that we are reviving our Rotary Youth Exchange initiative, it’s time to introduce the student who will be visiting Maple Hill High School for the 2016-17 school year.
Meet Rafaella Leal Câncio. She is a 16-year-old high school junior who lives in Ubá, a city of about 100,000 residents in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil about 75 miles north of Rio de Janiero.
Rafaella lives at home with her parents, Francisco and Marcella, and two younger siblings, Filipe, 11, and Heloisa, 7. Her father is a businessman, her mother a teacher.
She has studied English for five years, and grades herself as “good” in speaking and reading the language, but “poor” in writing it. This year, she is studying math, history, geography, physics, chemistry, sociology, philosophy, art, physical education and, of course English and her native Portugese. She also is a member of the student council, and has a strong interest in drama and movies and is considering studying drama in college.
So, what does Rafella hope to gain from her year in the U.S.? As she said in her written application, she wants to “get more mature, open my mind, grow up as a person, and learn a new culture.”