International

Perkins County grad to spend year in Germany & More Breaking News

By Shari Friedel

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

With appreciaton for the support of the Grant Rotary Club, his family and the community, 2022 Perkins County Schools graduate Jordan Mireles is off on the adventure of a lifetime—a year in Germany as a Rotary exchange student.

He is very excited for the exposure to a new culture, foods, celebrations and different perspectives.

He will attend school as a senior in Marne, a town of about 6000 residents in the northernmost German state, Schleswig-Holstein.

Students are able to request countries they would like to go to, and Germany was one of Jordan’s top three choices.

Jordan will be completely immersed in the culture, traditions and language, residing with a host family. The family, owners of a bakery, includes a son close to Jordan’s age, the only one in the family who knows English. A few weeks after Jordan’s arrival, the son will be departing on an adventure of his own in Taiwan, where he will experience the culture there as an exchange student also.

Jordan has spent much of the summer preparing for the experience—learning as much of the German language as he could and face-timing with his host family.

Learning the language is essential to the exchange student experience. Three months after their arrival, students are tested on how much they have learned. Failing the test could result in being sent home. Jordan is confident that he has learned, and will continue to learn, enough to pass the test.

Already bilingual (Spanish and English), Jordan, with an interest in language, has the goal of mastering at least five languages. After learning German, he plans to work on a fourth—an obscure Aztek language called Nahuatl, used in central Mexico. 

Jordan first became interested in the Rotary International Exchange as a RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) representative after his junior year at Perkins County High. Expressing his interest in the exchange program on the district and local levels, Jordan was selected by district Rotary representatives following a rigorous application process, and a tremendous amount of paperwork, interviews and presentations, said Grant’s Rotary President Don Softley.

Softley had high praise for Jordan, who he said has made great strides in the last year or so and said he is a fine, young man.

Students are ultimately responsible for funding the experience, but Grant Rotary has always contributed generously to outbound students with the use of fundraisers and donations. 

“Jordan is a fantastic representative of southwest Nebraska and the community of Grant,” Softley said. “Grant Rotary is pleased to have him represent us in a foreign country.”  

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