By: Mercedes Dunn/Media Intern
MORRIS, Okla.– Sheraton Snow is a Muscogee (Creek) citizen that graduated from Morris High School as a valedictorian. During high school she was also a concurrent student at The College of Muscogee Nation. She is now attending the University of Oklahoma. Snow is an honor student and maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She is currently majoring in social studies education and is minoring in Italian.
Snow was selected this spring for a summer internship that is located in Italy. The internship is provided through OU’s Italian Department. In the fall semester, Snow’s Italian professor advised her to apply when applications opened, however, she assumed it was a joke.
“I was recommended to apply for it in the fall semester from my Italian professor,” Snow said. “I thought she was joking, so the next semester when the application came out, I applied for it.”
Snow had to turn in a curriculum vitae before the Italian department choose three students for the opportunity. The internship was open to any student taking an Italian class at OU, making it a big pool to choose from.
The internship will allow Snow to teach Italian-speaking students English. It will also allow her to be a full-time teacher. She will be teaching students ages 8-fourteen years old. According to Snow, she is more excited to be teaching students, rather than traveling to a different country.
“I’m probably the most excited to actually do that part instead of going to travel and see stuff,” Snow said. “I think it will be interesting to have to speak to someone, and also teach them my language.”
Not only is this Snow’s first time teaching, but her first time out of the country.
“I’ve never been out of the country before, this is going to be the first time ever,” Snow said. “I bought a passport for it, and I never thought I was going to have to get a passport ever, so it was kind of a crazy experience.”
Snow has always been interested in learning different languages. A few languages she has learned on her own are Romanian, Korean, and Mvskoke Creek. Languages she has learned from school are Spanish and now Italian. This past spring semester only marked her second semester of Italian. Snow is only finishing intermediate Italian, and still has fifteen credit hours to complete. The first skill that is easy for her to pick up is reading the language.
“The hardest part is listening,” Snow said. “Reading is the easiest for me to pick up.”
Snow went to a Creek church with her Mimi, Beverly Snow, where she was able to speak Mvskoke Creek. This allowed Snow to pick up some words and sentences when she was younger. She was always able to sing along to the hymns and even still remembers a couple. As Snow has gotten older, she has forgotten a lot. However, she would like to take language classes at CMN for the Mvskoke Language Certificate and become fluent.
“My goal is to come back and with CMN take their Mvskoke Language certificate classes,” Snow said. “I would like to at least be able to sing along at church to the songs and understand, I would like to be a speaker one day.”
Snow’s advice for people wanting to learn a new language is to just do it. Snow knows it may be hard but if you put in the work, your goal can be accomplished.
“Put in the work, listen to music and movies in that language,” Snow said. “Just really try to immerse yourself in the language.”
Snow will leave Oklahoma on June 16 for her twelve hour flight to Italy.
For those interested in donating for Snow’s internship, contact her mother Tanya Henry at email@example.com or at (918) 758-7755. Donations will go toward hygiene products, food, and other expenses needed for the trip.