Two Washington and Lee ROTC Students Receive Project Global Officer Grants Christy Childs ’26 and Griffin Conti ’26 will receive funding to study foreign languages this summer.
Washington and Lee University students Christy Childs ’26 and Griffin Conti ’26 have been awarded grants by Project Global Officer (Project GO) to complete intensive language programming this summer. Both students are participants in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Program (ROTC), which is offered jointly through W&L and Virginia Military Institute (VMI).
Project GO is a nationwide program open to all qualified ROTC students offering fully-funded opportunities in critical language education, overseas study and cross-cultural experience. Through Project GO, future military officers develop linguistic and cross-cultural communication skills required for effective leadership for all services in the 21st century operational environment.
Childs was awarded up to $13,000 for 12 weeks of study of the Indonesian language. The program is offered through Arizona State University’s Critical Language Institute, and she will spend eight weeks at the ASU campus in Tempe, Arizona. She will then travel to Ngurah Rai University in Denpasar, Indonesia, for an additional four weeks of study. Childs’ mother is originally from Indonesia, and the program offers an opportunity to immerse herself in Indonesian culture.
“I have always wanted to speak the language and connect more with the culture,” said Childs. “I intend to use this experience to not only become closer to my mother and her family, but to learn the language of the fourth most populous country in the world. It was mind-blowing to learn that there were only four Project GO applicants selected for the Indonesian program at ASU, and that I was one of them. I am extremely honored and grateful to be given such an opportunity.”
The Hinsdale, New York native intends on majoring in biochemistry (pre-med) and then applying for an educational delay to attend medical school and serve as a doctor in the U.S. Army.
Conti was awarded a similar grant to study Mandarin Chinese via a program offered by Indiana University in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. The eight-week program teaches students how to navigate a Chinese-speaking environment, engaging in day-to-day exchanges and participating in social interactions in written and spoken Chinese.
“I aspire to learn Asian philosophy to facilitate greater understanding between Asian and Western cultures to achieve a more universalized and global form of philosophy,” said Conti. “By studying in Taiwan, I will be immersed in the rich culture and history of China, in addition to getting an in-depth understanding of the language.”
A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Conti intends to major in philosophy and East Asian languages, while also studying Sanskrit through the Middle East and South Asia studies program.
Since 2007, Project GO has provided approximately 6,500 students with opportunities to study culture and 19 languages, both domestically and abroad in 33 countries around the world.
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