News Detail

Edmundo Ortiz '18 named English Speaking Union Scholar

The full scholarship will allow Ortiz to spend a gap year at a British boarding school.
Edmundo Ortiz ‘18 is headed across the pond for a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity as an English Speaking Union Secondary School Exchange Scholar.

The appointment grants Ortiz a full scholarship to spend a year between high school and college at a British boarding school. Next year, he will study at Eastbourne College in East Sussex, England. He has already been accepted to Bowdoin College,  a top liberal arts college located in Brunswick, Maine, for the 2019-2020 academic year and plans to study English, philosophy, and politics.

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is one of 13 participating American schools in the ESU’s exchange program, and is the only Georgia school on the list. The English-Speaking Union is a non-profit educational charity that employs the English language to foster global understanding and good will through educational opportunities and cultural exchange programs. According to its website, the Secondary School Exchange program allows scholars “gain independence, a global outlook, and increased maturity that benefit them at college and in their future careers.”

“It is an honor for Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School to participate in the ESU Exchange program. This program gives our students the opportunity to expand their horizons academically and culturally,” said Head of School Dr. Anthony Sgro.

For Ortiz, an aspiring novelist, this gap year program will create the opportunity for him dive into his academic interests without the pressure of college acceptance.

“I love the English culture, love learning and love traveling, and taking this Gap year would give me the opportunity to do all three,” Ortiz said. “Also, I want to be a writer when I grow up, and having a year with no academic pressures will allow me to read and write whatever I want without the worry of college applications or studying for the SAT.”

Ortiz, a native of of Mexico City, Mexico, has spent three years at Rabun Gap.  He serves as head of Rabun Gap’s Global Awareness Panel, helping organize a campus-wide International Week this year. Ortiz also leads the English as a Second Language group that regularly teaches English at St. Helena’s Catholic Church in Clayton to Hispanic families. Ortiz is also a prefect, secretary of the Spanish Club, and was a delegate for Rabun Gap’s Model United Nations as they competed at Georgia Tech.   

“I’m excited for Edmundo to continue his boarding school experience abroad,” said Sgro. “Edmundo is a driven student, well-rounded academic, and natural leader. I have no doubt that he will excel academically in the UK and when he returns to the states to study at Bowdoin.”

Ortiz is excited to start his academic journey in England next year, and would like to thank Director of College Counseling, Mrs. Cheryl Barber, for the help she provided during his application process.

“I am profoundly proud of having gotten this opportunity, but I’m even more thankful to Rabun Gap for having offered it to me. It is an honor to represent Rabun Gap both in England as in any other part of the world. This honor is the proof of the doors that hard work and Rabun Gap have opened in my life,” Ortiz said.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.