Grant in hand, PHS grad will spend time teaching English in Lithuania

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PITTSFIELD — A recent Pittsfield High School graduate will spend part of 2021 teaching English in Lithuania as a cultural ambassador with the Fulbright Program.

Louis Higuera, a 2020 graduate of Marist College, was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant recently, after finishing up school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

"I have a dual major in political science and philosophy, so, I'm not actually looking to go into the educational field, but I felt this was a good opportunity," Higuera said from his home in Pittsfield after graduation ceremonies had been postponed.

"Hopefully, I can do some work with the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania on different ambassadorial projects and community projects. It felt like a good fit to get into something more along the lines of the political spectrum."

Higuera graduated from PHS in 2016 and spent the start of his time at Marist in Florence, Italy, as part of the school's study-abroad program. From there, he held an internship in Washington, working with SOUL programs to develop educational and academic enrichment curriculum during a semester at American University. Finally, there was an internship in the Hudson Valley last summer with Literacy Connections, which gave him the push to apply for the Fulbright position.

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"The application was pretty straightforward. I had to write two different personal essays, one about why I wanted to do it, and one about why I would be good for the job," said Higuera, who is home for the summer and looking to link up with a campaign heading into the November elections.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Fulbright job in Lithuania now has a target start date of Jan. 1 and will run for just one semester.

"My mom's side of the family is all from Eastern Europe; the former Soviet Union, Belarus, Lithuania area. That was definitely a big draw for me," Higuera noted of his decision to take the Fulbright to Lithuania.

He also became friends with some native Lithuanians, with whom he has worked at Bistro Zinc in Lenox the past three summers.

Mike Walsh can be reached at mwalsh@berkshireeagle.com.


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