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Recognized Global Engagement Initiative Award Programs

The 2018 recipient of the ACTFL Global Engagement Initiative Award was Project LAURA—Latin American Unaccompanied Minor and Refugee Assistance.

Since spring of 2017, twelve students at Boise State University have provided Spanish translation and interpretation services while ten Concordia Law School students and local attorneys provided free legal aid for more than fifty clients as part of Project LAURA (Latin American Unaccompanied Minor & Refugee Assistance), a nonprofit legal service provider for qualifying cases in the Idaho Immigration Court. The duration of the program, for the students, is 40 to 80 hours a semester, but Project LAURA will continue as long as immigration attorneys offer pro bono work. The goal is to provide the language students with hands-on experience in the field of interpretation and translation, augment their vocabulary, and increase their knowledge of culture and current events in Central America, all while helping this underprivileged group within our community. Law and language students collaborated in preparing the files to be submitted to court, by interviewing the clients and translating all needed paperwork, respectively.

Fátima Cornwall who accepted the award of behalf of her students at the 2018 ACTFL Awards Program in New Orleans said of the participants: “These students exceeded all expectations by showing a true commitment not only to their language studies, but also to their community. It was inspiring to see their enthusiasm, dedications, and selflessness when it came to serving others.”

ACTFL would like to thank the following members of the 2018 Global Engagement Action Group for their work on this initiative:

Beckie Rankin, Chair
Valerie Shull
Darcy Pippins
Mara Cobe
Gorica Majstorovic
Vivian Brates

Previous award recipients include:


Day Worker Stories, Notre Dame High School (San Jose, CA)
Columbia Study Tour, Stockton University (CA)
Service Learning in Spanish, Butler University (IN)
Bienvenue à Durham, Duke University (NC)
Centerville High School Spanish Exchanges, Centerville High School (OH)
Spanish and Service Learning in Guatemala, Juniata College (PA)


Integrating Spanish and Health in Nicaragua, Miami University (Ohio)
Educando Vidas and Fowlerville High School Partnership (Fowlerville, MI)
Reading to Play, Playing to Read, Duquesne University (PA)
Stanford Language Center & International Institute of the Bay Area, Stanford University (CA)
Students Teaching Students: Elementary Spanish Program, Norman High School (Norman, OK)


Blue Valley CAPS World Business Partnerships
Carlyle High School Classroom Without Walls
Cincinnati Country Day School
Deerfield High School Reciprocal Exchange
Illinois State University World Languages Teachers at Unity
Lincoln Way World Languages Department
Rogers Park Montessori in Costa Rica
Rutgers University Conversation Tree
SUNY Oneonta Service Learning in San Andres, Colombia
University of North Carolina-Greensboro Global Village
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Cajun Watershed & Intercultural Immersion Program