Culture Shock: Global Scholars Learn About the World

It’s hard to succeed without determination. Determination does not care if you are incredibly smart, or incredibly mediocre; it just cares that you are willing to work and sacrifice to make a difference in your own life, perhaps in others lives as well.  

One Woodland student, Victoria Baliga, has enough determination, and Woodland is a better place for that.


While simultaneously maintaining good grades, participating in sports and clubs, and having lots of fun, Baliga was also the catalyst for a new club, the Global Scholars Club.

“I decided to just step it up this year,” says Baliga. “I started doing powerpoint presentations about different types of legends and languages of Poland.”

While Global Scholars Club started as an idea between friends, it is now an official club with thirteen members and soon to be more. Towards the beginning of the club, they mainly focused on fun activities to bring the members closer together.

Members not only make presentations about the language, culture, and legends of the country they are from, they also sometimes enjoy foods from the different countries.

During their holiday party, they enjoyed dishes such as cream puffs, almond Italian Christmas cookies, strawberry pierogi, and many others. They ate their cultural food, chatted about their cultures, and enjoyed the holiday spirit.

Recently, inspired to bring more structure to the club, Christopher Tomlin, Global Scholars Club Advisor,  told the club members that if they wanted to go on a proposed trip to Poland, they would need to start focusing on the actual learning part of the club, the trip would not be able to happen.

The Global Scholars Club originated at a unique place: Homecoming 2016. Baliga was having fun with friends when she was approached by Gabby Wojcik, “Tomlin wants to talk to you.” Baliga went to where Tomlin was guarding the shoes, per tradition, and he suggested the idea of a polish club.

“I really want this school to feel that they can talk about their culture, and have something to relate to.”

 – Victoria Baliga

The founding members were all very close to Tomlin and knew he would be the perfect advisor. The founding members enjoyed spending time with Tomlin, and because he was part of the idea to create the club, there was no other choice.

After the club became official, Baliga was excited to see the club grow. Although the majority of the founding members are Polish, Baliga wants everyone at Woodland to feel free to join the group every other Wednesday.

“I just really want people to know that you can belong to something,” Baliga explained. “I really want this school to feel that they can talk about their culture, and have something to relate to.”

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