Martin selected as Crailsheim ambassadorWORTHINGTON — Sophomore John Martin’s interest in the Worthington-Crailsheim student exchange program began when he started taking German classes.
WORTHINGTON — Sophomore John Martin’s interest in the Worthington-Crailsheim student exchange program began when he started taking German classes.
By late summer, he’ll be able to live his dream as he begins his year-long stay in Crailsheim.
“I want you to know that I’m going to work very hard to make all of you proud that you chose me,” Martin said as he addressed the crowd after being named the exchange student at the Worthington-Crailsheim International Banquet on Sunday.
Martin is the 107th student to participate the Worthington-Crailsheim exchange program which started in 1948.
He said he is the first in his family to represent Worthington in the exchange student program.
“Most of my family is German and we have a little bit of English,” he said about his heritage.
During his stay at Crailsheim, Martin will live with four host families.
The banquet, which was organized at First Lutheran Church, featured speeches from previous exchange students as well as comments from the Worthington-Crailsheim committee president, Janice Berger.
“You’re not only representing your family but your school, and the whole city of Worthington,” Berger said to the two candidates — Martin and Rebecca Christensen — prior to the announcement.
She said it was the same advice she had given her daughter Brittany when she was selected as the exchange student five years ago.
The guest speaker for Sunday’s event and also 1996-1997 Crailsheim ambassador, Eir Garcia Silva spoke about her experience more than a decade ago.
“I needed the encouragement from my parents to try out for the program,” she said, adding her older sister had already enjoyed the experience as an exchange student. “When my name was announced, I felt shocked, humbled, honored and scared.”
She detailed how her first host family played a vital role in encouraging her to try everything despite the language barrier.
For her, watching German TV programs helped her learn more of the language, she said.
“The three life lessons that I’ve learned are independence and self-confidence, encouragement and motivation, and embracing your own culture and heritage,” Garcia Silva added.
Brittany, who represented Worthington in 2007-2008, read an email from Sophia Düll — the incoming exchange student for 2012-2013.
“I’m really open, outgoing, self-confident and ambitious,” Dull stated in her email. “One year in America would be a big experience in my life.”
While Martin admitted he hasn’t fully acquired German, he is anticipating the adventure.
“The farthest I’ve ever been is California,” he said, adding despite the onset of nervousness, he “knows it’ll be great.”
Martin will leave for Germany at the end of July or early August with current exchange student from Crailsheim, Sarah Meiser.
Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.