Tanya Anderson Hosts Girls High Students in Barcelona

By Tanya “Rafika” Anderson, Posted April 13, 2015
U.S. Consul General Barcelona
Girls High Girl – Class of 218

Dear fellow Class of 218 Alumnae,
Mrs. Bea Batt-Behar, a Spanish teacher at Girls High wrote to me on February 25, informing me that she would be leading a group of students on a visit to Spain in March. The travelers spent a few days in Madrid, and then they landed in Barcelona yesterday, accompanied by a parent chaperone, Mr. Ricardo Linero.

Stationed overseas since 1993, I have been trying to find a way to get back and give back to our alma mater, so I was more than delighted to receive the group of eight visitors from Philadelphia at the U.S. Consulate this morning. We met for nearly two hours and spoke at length about their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. I shared with them my experiences at Girls High as well as my studies at Georgetown and answered questions about life in the Foreign Service. I assured them that I attribute all of my globetrotting adventures and career success to the strong academic foundation established at Girls High, where I graduated in 1974.

Each student regaled me with descriptions of their lives within the rose-colored, marble halls of today – chatting opening about their classes, teachers, extracurricular activities, and more. Everyone agreed that Contest was high on their lists of favorites. I truly found it fascinating getting to know these obviously talented, intelligent young women, and especially to hear about their plans to study medicine, engineering, law, and more. As a result, I thought I should share my thoughts about this captivating exchange with all of you as well as the photo commemorating their visit. (Obviously, I’m the old one in the center, among the bright and shining faces. LOL!)

In addition to raising funds for books, computers, a librarian, and other pressing needs at the school, which they do appreciate, I hope we can also find a way to support this type of mind-expanding, networking initiative. I am confident that the experiences they will gain through travel will contribute significantly to their long-term development and future achievement.

As they departed to continue their journey through Spain, I was left with a great sense of fulfillment that I had finally been able to make this personal connection with current students of the school I love and owe so much.

Tanya “Rafika” Anderson
U.S. Consul General Barcelona
Girls High Girl – Class of 218

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