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Two former Hastings Tigers win Fulbright Scholarships

Local4 TODAY
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:50 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Two former Hastings Tigers were offered big scholarships to allow them to travel abroad for their studies.

Spencer Tessman and Tasia Theoharis received Fulbright Scholarships that will send them to Germany where they will emerce themselves in the culture and teach English to students there.

Both Tessman and Theoharis were in the same German class at Hastings High School and graduated together.

Tessman made his way to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln while Theoharis studied at Elon University.

Both say they are excited for the opportunity to show Germans what American culture is about.

“Fulbright really stresses being some kind of cultural ambassador to the United States,” Theoharis said. ”Showing Germans, young Germans, what it’s like to be an American. What kind of values we have, what we think of democracy, what it means to be an engaged citizen. I see that as part of this as well, which I’m really excited about.”

She adds that it’s way more than a study abroad experience.

“It’s getting to be a part of the community and to learn from a specific part of Germany, and those are the skills I’ll be able to translate into anything else that I study,” Theoharis said.

Tessman said when he got to UNL, there was an advisor for the Fulbright that he met with. He said it was a goal that he had from freshman year onward. He said he submitted the application in October 2021 and learned in April/May 2022.

“It’s just a really long process but I’m glad it paid off,” he said.

His passion for learning languages sparked during his time as a student at Hastings High.

“Without Hastings High and their language program and what they’ve established there and everything and then moving on to what UNL has for their language program, it just wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

He thinks language should extend downward into younger grades because the earlier you start the easier it is and it’s just a life skill.

“With a language, after you kind of figured out this puzzle, you know, it has so many different uses and everything and it just unlocks so many new people that you can talk to, music that you can enjoy and movie that before, you couldn’t enjoy and just like, there’s all this wealth behind every language,” Tessman said.

Tessman graduated from UNL on Saturday.

Spencer Tessman will go to Germany where he will teach English to students for the upcoming school year.

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