At the age of 22, Agredo, a Boston College 2011 graduate and a Rego Park resident, has earned himself a prestigious J. William Fulbright grant, the coveted post-baccalaureate study/research/teaching award given annually to the nation's best and brightest college students.
With the award, Agredo will visit Germany for one year, where he will serve as an English teaching assistant in a high school.
“I’ll serve as a facilitator of the English language and also of American studies," he said. "Things like religion, politics, culture, sports and pop culture, I will bring it in as an ambassador of American culture into the classroom."
“It’s a way to bring insight into what it means to be an American, and I get a feeling of what it means to be a German youth," he added. "It’s this kind of cultural sharing that the Fulbright program endorses.”
He will also be creating an afterschool program that will help facilitate those students struggling to learn the English language.
In a twist of fate, Agredo will be residing very close to his hometown of Wiesbaden.
“It’s Interesting they put me there because I never made any indication I wanted to be in that area,” he said.
For Agredo, a Philosophy major with a minor in German Studies, the experience will be unforgettable.
“It will get me more adept at the language,” he said. “There is so much more I could learn in the language, and just being there in that environment will help me.”
He always retained the connection to Germany, even after he moved to Rego Park with his parents, Carmen and Carlos, 12 years ago. But he did not hear of the Fulbright Scholarship until he entered Boston College.
“I was introduced to it in freshman year by my German Studies advisor, but I didn’t give any thought to it until my junior year,” he said.
The application process was a long one, but it was worth it. “I had to write essays, get recommendations," he said. "It was a long and daunting process, but now that it’s over, I see how worthy it was because of this opportunity. It feels great.”
Agredo is hoping to return and attend graduate school for philosophy or bio-ethics at Columbia or New York University. But he is open to the fact that his experience in Germany could change his plans.
“I could want to stay there longer, could want to stay there and pursue graduate studies there,” he said.
This is not the graduate’s first time back in Germany. He visited last year through an exchange program and spent a month in Berlin.
“It strengthened the idea I had with wanting to go back, whether just for fun or traveling,” he said. “I always had a connection with Germany.”
(Lisa A. Fraser)