Name: Caleb Martin
School: Lincoln High School
Year in School: Senior
School Activities: Speech, Debate, Orchestra, Young Democrats, International Club, Lincoln Youth Symphony
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM
Can you talk a little about your involvement in the IB program? The IB program is essentially a group of classes with "core requirements." We have to take IB classes in different groups, including history, foreign language, math, and more. We also have a service requirements and have to write a 4,000 word research paper our senior year. The IB program is technically only a junior-senior year program, but classes are geared freshman and sophomore years towards the program.
What made you want to apply? I was really attracted by the teachers and students in the IB program. There are so many intelligent, humble, and supportive individuals who participate in this program, and when I came to the IB Open House in 8th Grade, I really saw that. I also was drawn to the international mindedness fostered by the program. The IB curriculum is the same world-wide, so I liked its emphasis on global perspectives.
What have you gained from the program? I have gained an appreciation of risk-taking in an academic setting. The IB program really pushes you outside your comfort zone, and in doing so, I have found that I really enjoy topics that I never would have thought I would enjoy. For example, I am in an IB Art class, even though I am a pretty mediocre artist, and am taking IB Physics, which I never thought I would have liked. Contrary to my expectations, these classes have been two of my favorite from high school. I think that IB gives you the capacity to take risks with classmates and teachers that are invested in your success.
How would you encourage others to apply and participate? Definitely! I have no regrets about being in IB, and I highly encourage other students to apply.
Can you explain your trip to India? I went through a program called the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y). It is an intensive language learning program that sends US high school students abroad to study security languages like Korean, Chinese, and Arabic. What is really great about the program is that is 100% free: the government pays for your flights, accommodations, and schooling. I, along with 14 other students, did the 8 week Hindi summer program in Pune, India, stayed with a host family, and went to a language-learning school everyday. As a group, we also got to participate in educational experiences on the weekends -- we went hiking, to museums, and more.
What made you want to participate in this program? I am interested in learning languages, and learning a language that I didn't have the capacity to learn in school was fascinating. I specifically wanted to learn Hindi because of its practicality with India rising as a global superpower.
Did you experience anything that surprised you? I don't recall a specific experience that shocked or surprised me, but it was interesting learning about how political and educational systems differed between the US and India.
What is your favorite memory from that experience? On our final night of the program, we had a big celebration and dinner with our host families and teachers. Each of us had to give a speech in Hindi (which was pretty nerve-wracking!), but it was really rewarding to see how much each of us had grown while we were there and how our language learning skills had developed over time.
Do you have any plans to take a similar trip again? I definitely want to study abroad in college. I am not sure if I will go back to India or another country, but this program really solidified my passion for having international experiences.
Have you decided what college you will be attending? your major? I will be attending Stanford University. As for a major, I'm pretty indecisive. Right now I am leaning towards International Relations and Economics, but I am also interested in Computer Science, Linguistics, and Public Policy.