When Santana Mitchell began studying French in Lafayette’s language immersion program, he could not foresee the honor of visiting the City of Light as a guest of the people of France.

The 16-year-old is one of 60 students from across the globe invited to France to meet with other bilingual students of French. He is the only student from the United States to be selected.

Mitchell will study and tour with his fellow honorees in Paris and Vichy for 10 days this summer, all expenses paid.

We congratulate him and his teachers, including French teacher Marianne Cheramie, of Lafayette High School, but we also are delighted with the French government’s initiative in promoting the study of one of Louisiana’s formative languages.

Lafayette’s namesake, the marquis who fought in the American Revolution, devoted his life to liberty and Franco-American friendship. He would be pleased with this initiative, we think.

Bon voyage.