Garrison Littell, Oaks Christian Online high school sophomore, has received the prestigious 2014 Cultural Explorer Scholarship with AFS International Programs. Garrison will use his scholarship to help pay for the opportunity to study in Eastern China for his junior year.
He has been accepted by the American AFS branch and is now waiting for placement by the Chinese branch. AFS, formerly the American Field Service, has been working towards a more just and peaceful world through providing student exchange opportunities for more than 65 years. Garrison and his family are used to embracing those from different cultures. Garrison first heard of the AFS program through the coordinator of the Thai foreign exchange student that his family is currently hosting. While he has yet to travel to Asia, Garrison is thrilled about the prospect of learning more about the Chinese culture and the Chinese language. Garrison’s love of languages began with his study of Latin on the Oaks Christian main campus and has grown to include the studies of Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Japanese, French, German, and Italian. His mom says, “The nurture provided by the quality teachers of Oaks and Oaks Christian Online has enabled our son to engage in the direction of his own destiny.”
Not only was Garrison accepted into the AFS program after a selective admission process, but he also was awarded one of their prestigious scholarships through writing two essays. In his entry, Garrison noted, “Intercultural learning experiences can lead to a more coherent and peaceful world by helping to reduce assumptions about and misunderstandings by people of different nations and different cultures.”
Garrison will continue to take several online high school classes with Oaks Christian Online high school while he studies in China. Taking online English and American History high school courses while traveling overseas, will help him stay on track to graduate when he returns. Garrison has been a big contributor to OCO school culture through his attendance in online student council meetings, college field trips and online classroom discussions. He’s also found other ways that working online for the last year has helped him prepare for his next year in China and even beyond. “OCO has increased my motivation to learn and has essentially forced me to eliminate as much procrastination as possible from my life. So pretty much it has told me that a little bit at a time is better than a whole lot at a time. It has also given me a sense of how to structure my language learning. I am very excited for this opportunity and feel that OCO has helped in preparing me to succeed in this program and environment.”
The main campus of Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, CA opened in the fall of 2000 and Oaks Christian Online (OCO) opened for full-time, online students in the fall of 2011. The online high school provides a rigorous and challenging college preparatory education for high school students all around the world in a Christian environment. Oaks Christian Online continues to enroll part-time and full-time students throughout the school year and regularly hosts information sessions on its main campus – 31749 La Tienda Drive, Westlake Village, CA 91362, as well as virtual information sessions for prospective student families. Interested students can visit the website https://www.oakschristianonline.org/ to R.S.V.P.