Danielle Voorhies, who graduated from Grand Haven High School in 2009 and Ferris State University this year, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English for one year in the Asian country.
When Voorhies received the acceptance of the scholarship in an e-mail in March, she couldn’t believe the two-year application process had paid off. She said she had to read the e-mail "at least 50 times" before she was sure that it was correct.
“It’s kind of indescribable,” she said.
Voorhies leaves the United States in early July and will live with a host family in South Korea. She will teach English as a second language to children.
But the expected language barrier won’t be much of a problem for Voorhies. She’s been studying Korean since her freshman year of high school.
Voorhies said she’s looking forward to the experience and opportunity to create a different level of understanding between cultures.
Before she leaves, Voorhies is collecting souvenirs for her Korean students — including local post cards and T-shirts.
“It’s so they can have a piece of where I came from, too,” she said.
Her mother, Diana Voorhies, said she plans to visit Danielle in October for two weeks.
The Grand Haven woman said she’s proud of her daughter because she worked hard and deserves this opportunity.
“It will be the chance of a lifetime,” Diana said.
Once she returns to the United States next summer, Voorhies said she plans to work in navigating international trade laws for small businesses, preferably in the West Michigan area.