Destination Hoover International announces scholarship recipients

Published 10:06 am Friday, May 22, 2020

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HOOVER – Destination Hoover International has announced its annual scholarship winners.

Adelle Knight of Hoover High School and Juan Luis Contreras of Spain Park High School each will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship for their college focus on cultural exchange, both home and abroad.

Spain Park High School student Juan Luis Contreras was named one of Destination Hoover International’s 2020 scholarship winners. (Contributed)

A virtual ceremony honoring the students was held Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m.

Proceeds towards the scholarship are raised in part by Jubilee Joe’s yearly contribution to Destination Hoover International.

“DHI is honored to continue to work with Kashif and Sharmeen Siddiqui, owners of Jubilee Joe’s Cajun Seafood Restaurant here in Hoover,” DHI Board President Shelley Shaw said. “Last year we began our scholarship program, and we are thrilled to be fulfilling our mission by supporting students who plan to study in fields focused on international relations and cultural exchange. Thank you to Jubilee Joe’s for continuing your support in this local effort.”

Contreras, who is fluent in Spanish, said he was asked to help four students from Guatemala get to know the school and be with them during some of their classes.

“The experience sparked the desire to create change on campus,” Contreras said. “Alongside my sister, we co-founded a club, Take Time To Care or TC3. This initiative proved that working together we could offer greater opportunities to become accepted and involved, especially for those like my new Guatemalan friends.”

Contreras will be entering Auburn University in the fall with plans to major in biology and follow a pre-med track with a minor in Spanish to become a physician.

Hoover High School student Adelle Knight was also named one of DHI’s 2020 scholarship recipients. (Contributed)

Knight, who will be entering UAB in the fall, shares in her essay her thoughts on environmental science and cultural exchange.

“Environmental changes are a worldwide problem so in pursuing a degree in biology I will likely be working with people and ideas from all over the world,” she wrote. “I hope to promote cultural exchange through environmental justice by attaining a degree in biology in college and later in my career to help the world, in at least this one respect, understand the other people in it a little bit better.”

Founded in 2018, Destination Hoover is a 501(c)3 non-profit fostering cultural exchange and international relationships uniting Hoover with people throughout the world.

The mission statement is: “To bring the world to Hoover, and Hoover to the world!”

In 2019, DHI hosted delegations from Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, the Consul General of Japan and Japanese ambassadors.

Other inaugural events include the Cherry Tree Blossom Dedication at Aldridge Gardens and a local Cricket Tournament held at the Hoover Met Complex.

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