I’m Izabella Seija Usitalo. I’m fourteen and starting ninth grade at Nova Classical Academy in Saint Paul. I was born in Montreal, Canada. My parents are Steven Usitalo (should be Uusitalo, he also goes by that) and Margarita Aroutiunian-Usitalo. My father was born in Helsinki but emigrated at a young age to Detroit, Michigan. Both of his parents are Finnish: his mother was born in Lahti and his father not far from Haparanda in Sweden. My mother is from Armenia. Her parents and all of her close relatives still live in Armenia.
After leaving Montreal, we lived for a while in Detroit before moving to South Dakota and then Saint Paul. My father teaches Russian history at a university (Northern State University) and my mother works for Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.
I lived in Armenia for a year when I was a bit younger and attended a mainly Russian-language school there. I’ve been to Finland once, although I hope to return regularly in the future. I’ve even thought about attending university there.
Last summer was my first village experience at Salolampi. I hope to go every summer until I graduate. It was a wonderful experience. It wasn’t just learning Finnish that I enjoyed, I also loved learning song, about food, and being with others who were also interested in Finnish culture.
At Nova Classical Academy I’ll be on the track & field team and the fencing team. I also love to swim and in the past swam for Saint Paul Star Swim Team. My favorite subjects at Nova are Biology, Rhetoric, and Ancient Literature.
Role and Responsibilities
The Salolampi Internship Program is designed to provide a High School student the opportunity to work with a Foundation and develop a variety of skill sets. Examples of basic internship responsibilities are listed below. Further projects will be developed in collaboration with the intern.
• Assist with general Foundation operations
• Attend board meetings in person or virtually
• Collaborate with board members on areas of interest or as assigned by the Foundation
• Develop skills needed for fundraising, marketing, outreach and working with small business or foundations
• Assist with outreach events in person and/or virtually
Awarded applicants will attend a Salolampi program with the Foundation providing a scholarship of value of a 2-week program (dependent on program attended) for attendance in either a 2-week or 4-week program at Salolampi for summer of 2019. The awarded applicant will attend the session following the Internship program August 2018- September 2019. Attendance of a summer program is mandatory to completion of the internship program.