Zuly Cardenas Zermeno
Hometown: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Sponsor District : District 6970
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Host District: TBA
Host Club: TBA
My name is Zuleyka Cardenas, a junior at Ponte Vedra High School. I’m thankful, and so very excited to have an opportunity to spend my senior year in Taiwan learning their culture and language. I was born in Mexico and upon turning one, my parents decided to move to Puerto Rico for familial reasons. I spent ten years in my new home, receiving my elementary and sixth grade education. At the age of eleven my family moved to the United States for better employment opportunities. In all honesty, it was incredibly difficult to adjust to our new nation of habitancy; I wasn’t fluent in English, and my grammar was, at best, horrific. As time flew by, I discovered that being enveloped the language had vastly improved my speaking and written skills. I found myself excelling in my new environment, both academically and socially as I made new friends (some I’d even come to consider family) and maintained strong ties to those I’d left behind. The experience I have gained over my life from nation hopping has taught me the importance of respecting and understanding cultural differences, which is why I am truly ecstatic to have the opportunity to broaden my horizons once more in Taiwan. Our time on this Earth is limited, so we should explore and experience as much as possible before it expires. I dream to live a life filled to the brim with tales to tell, and a well-practiced cultural background to inform others of the astounding differences humans have created with boundaries and time. I want to look back on my life fondly, remembering all the people I have met and taught around our world. I cannot express my extreme gratitude to Rotary for this wonderful opportunity to fulfill my dreams in Taiwan.