St. Luke’s Senior Marguerite DeMarco ‘21 was recently awarded the prestigious American Society of the French Academic Palms Scholarship
. This sought-after $4,000 scholarship, granted to one American high school student each year, is to study the French language and culture through an immersion-style approach in a French-speaking country.
Students from across the nation with an enduring and deep interest in the French language and Francophone culture are invited to apply. All applicants must complete a complex application, including an essay written in French, and submit letters of recommendation from their teachers.
Before applying, DeMarco conducted extensive research to determine the best program to fit her needs. She is excited for the opportunity to spend four weeks next summer studying in France, where she will travel through Paris, Aix en Provence, Brittany, and the French Alps. As part of her independent study, Marguerite will conduct research on French culture and language, and conclude the four weeks with a presentation on her findings. The program is fully immersive, so she will live with a host family and speak French throughout her stay.
“I am extremely honored to have received this scholarship, and I think it will be a wonderful opportunity for me to not just learn the language, but also learn about the people and the culture that makes France so special. I am really excited to be able to visit the country that I have been interested in for years,” DeMarco exclaimed.
She went on to share that her interest in the French language started when she was about six years old. Her brother’s teacher was from New Orleans and told her that the name Marguerite was French for daisy. That immediately sparked her interest in learning more about the language. At St. Luke’s, DeMarco was able to officially learn the language. “I am so grateful to have been able to pursue my passion,” DeMarco said.
Upper School World Language Department Chair and French teacher Jon Shee shared, “The teachers of the French program could not be more proud of Marguerite. Considering the prestige of this prize and the history of the American Society of the French Academic Palms, it is such a significant accomplishment and honor for her.”
Upper School French teacher Evan Downey commented, “I am so incredibly excited for Marguerite! Living in France allowed me to make friendships that have lasted a lifetime. But, just as importantly, it enabled me to reflect deeply on my values and purpose. Marguerite’s innate curiosity about people and culture was always palpable, and I am delighted that she will have this extraordinary immersion experience to reflect and grow as a leader.”
This is the first time that a St. Luke’s student has applied for this national recognition.