Students in field

Foreign exchange student designs winning Parade of Nations logo

July 12, 2022

Parade of Nations 2022 LogoChiara Rapacci, a 17-year-old junior at Baraga High School, won this year’s Parade of Nations logo contest. Her design will be the official logo of the 2022 Parade of Nations, printed on T-shirts, flyers and other materials.

Rapacci is an exchange student from Italy, sponsored by International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES), a nonprofit international high school student exchange program. Her logo illustrates this year’s theme: The World is One.

The Parade of Nations will take place on Saturday, September 17.

“I’m so excited,” Chiara said when she learned that her logo had won.

She created the logo in a graphic design class taught by Viktoria Klein. A number of Klein’s students submitted logos to the contest.

Chiara’s host family is Gina and Irv Smith of Baraga.

“She’s very creative,” said Gina. Ironically though, Chiara initially wanted to drop out of the graphic design class, but she stayed and really enjoyed it, Gina added.

“I’ve always loved to draw, but it was always in pencil,” Chiara said. “I’ve never done anything like this.”

Chiara is loving her exchange year in the U.S. “It’s totally different from Italy, she said. “The people are so nice. Everyone is willing to help.”

She also loves American food. Her favorites? Tacos and chicken alfredo. She taught the Smiths to call noodles “pasta.” When we go to a grocery store, she heads straight for the pasta aisle,” Gina said. “She could wander up and down that aisle forever.”

“I love my family here, and I love being surrounded by nature,” Chiara said. She went fishing with the Smiths for the first time in her life, and she adored it.

Chiara wants to come back to the United States for college, and she wants to live here someday.

The Smiths have loved hosting Chiara. “She’s awesome, always smiling,” Gina said. “She loves to tease my 10-year-old, and she keeps us laughing.”

Gina added, “What a joy it has been learning about Chiara’s culture and the differences between the United States and Italy. My great grandfather came to the U.S. from Italy in 1912 at the age of 13. Knowing that made it even more interesting to learn the differences through Chiara’s eyes.”

For more information, see https://www.mtu.edu/international/get-involved/parade-nations/, email ips.mtu.edu, or call 906-487-2160.

Article provided by Jennifer Donovan, Parade of Nations Committee.

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