A local graduate has secured one of the nation's most prestigious academic awards this year.
Clare Volz, 22, departs next week for Indonesia, where she will teach students English for eight months through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
She will reside in Semarang, one of the country's largest cities, on the island of Java.
"I'm so excited for this opportunity," she said.
Volz is one of about 1,800 U.S. students who received the award for the 2014-15 academic year. More than 10,000 applied.
Fulbright winners boast substantial academic and professional achievements, as well as leadership potential and a compelling project proposal, according to the program's website.
The program's application and interview process took about two years, Volz said.
In May, Volz graduated magna cum laude from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Education, specializing in integrated language arts.
She graduated from Perkins High School in 2010.
While still attending Ohio University, Volz completed her student teaching requirements in the Netherlands.
One of her favorite aspects of teaching English is exposing students to literature and listening to their vibrant discussions, she said.
"They start to see the world in a different way," Volz said. "Teaching abroad I'll be able to hear perspectives of people from a non-Western culture. It'll be entirely new to me."
While in Indonesia, she will assist a full-time teacher in a classroom, while also participating in various language-based service projects throughout the community.
Volz is the daughter of David and Patricia Volz, who live in Perkins Township.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the nation's largest international exchange program, and strives to increase understanding between the U.S. and people of other nations.