Home News Local news Friends of Denmark Name UVI Senior 'Student Ambassador'

Friends of Denmark Name UVI Senior 'Student Ambassador'


Feb. 17, 2007 — The Friends of Denmark Society met Saturday to prepare for the Friendship Festival and announce the St. Thomas "student ambassador," Amarae Blyden-Richards.
The lively meeting of the St. Thomas-St. John Friends of Denmark (FOD) took place Saturday morning at the Holiday Inn Windward Passage. The Friendship Festival will take place during the last week in March, culminating in the 90th anniversary of Transfer Day on March 31. This is also the 40th Anniversary of the FOD.
The meeting was filled with people dressed in red and white, the colors of the flag of Denmark, as various committees reported on the status of the upcoming celebration.
One of the first orders of business at the meeting, presided over by FOD President Ronald Lockhart, was the announcement of Blyden-Richards as ambassador in a student-exchange program with Denmark. Working with the FOD are the Friends of the Danish West Indies, its sister organization in Denmark, along with the FOD of St. Croix.
Blyden-Richards, 21, is a senior at the University of the Virgin Islands. The former host of a teen television program, she earned the opportunity and honor by writing an essay and making a presentation before judges from FOD. Her essay was on the remaining Danish architecture in the territory and on furniture, in particular mahogany furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries. This is Blyden-Richards’ third exchange-program opportunity. She has also visited Valencia, Spain, and Florida International University.
“I want to get a degree in health service administration and work in disease prevention and promotion," Blyden-Richards told the assembled FOD members. "I am a marketing major, and I love marketing at heart.”
She said she intends to pursue graduate work in marketing, with a concentration on medicine and pharmaceuticals.
The student-exchange program is educational in nature and will benefit the improved understanding of the Danish culture and background of the Virgin Islands. It is being supported by a grant from the Southland Foundation of the Virgin Islands. Upon her return, Blyden-Richards will be expected to share her experiences widely in the community.
Two Danish students will travel to the Virgin Islands on or about July 1. Then two students, one from St. Thomas and one from St. Croix, will return to Denmark with them on or about July 22 and return home to the territory around Aug. 14.
The remainder of the meeting was devoted to the Friendship Festival and Transfer Day preparations. The festivities include a reception by the governor, educational tours of St. Thomas and St John, museum visits, private parties, banquets, picnics and a ceremony at the V.I. Legislature. The dignitaries will include the Danish ambassadors from Washington D.C., and New York, as well as Stacy Smith, Miss Virgin Islands 2006.
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