From the Embassy of the United States of America, Santiago, Chile

José Rocha, Catterina Díaz, Alvaro Gómez and Tamara Covacevich came back from four weeks at the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia happy, motivated, and with an unforgettable experience.

The four students were selected from 325 applicants by U.S. Embassy Santiago in March based on their grades, interest in science, leadership abilities, and English proficiency.

Tamara Covacevich from Punta Arenas said, “The camp has been the best month of my life” and “it was an experience that changed my life.”  She explained that the program was well organized and they had the opportunity to interact with academics in many fields that opened her mind to the possibilities of science and the role of engineering in today’s world.  She was also impressed by the positive attitude of the 117 participants and their willingness to learn and understand one another.  Rock climbing, kayaking, and playing “American “football were some of the new experiences she enjoyed.

José Rocha from Copiapo said,”I can’t find words to describe what the camp meant to me , I can say it was the best experience of my life and I come back to Chile a different person, full of energy and ready to do many things.”  Jose left over a month ago with many expectations and fears that anyone at his age would have making such a journey.  He recalls,” My expectations were surpassed and my fear that I wouldn’t be able to communicate was absurd, I learned more English then I have ever learned and everyone was always willing to teach you.”  José stressed that the diversity and friendship was incredible and he was given new perspectives about life and how to approach problems.

Catterina Diaz from Concepcíon said,”I felt very grateful for this experience and I hope many kids in my country who are interested in science can live it.”  Caterina listed over 18 things she learned and the new sense of confidence and enthusiasm to realize ones potential.

The students all added that they realized all the things that they learned and the friends that they made and didn’t want it to end.  During their tearful goodbyes they all promised to keep in contact through social media.

The National Youth Science Camp is an educational program that unites over one hundred students from all over the U.S. and 20 other countries.  The goal is to stimulate interest in science while offering outdoor activities where students from different countries can establish permanent bonds with peers who share their interests.