Joseph and Cecilia Tolsma tied for 1st Place in the 2020 KidVid Contest from the Foreign Service Youth Foundation and Overseas Briefing Center of US Department of State for the 10-12 age group.
They put together a 25-minute video describing their life in Wuhan, China, the city’s shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the subsequent evacuation of the consulate employees and their families and nearly 150 other US citizens.
Their video describes their lives and experiences in detail and includes their harrowing trip from Wuhan, China, to Anchorage, Alaska, and on to March Air Force Reserve Base in California.
They served in the first Federally Mandated quarantine in 60 years and finally to Arlington, VA, to be close to the US Department of State headquarters.
What organization recognized the achievement?
2020 KidVid Contest from the Foreign Service Youth Foundation, and Overseas Briefing Center, US Department of State recognized Joseph and Cecilia’s accomplishment.
How did homeschooling help you achieve your goal?
My husband is a Foreign Service Specialist from the US Department of State working in the US Consulate in Wuhan, China. Our family had moved to China in the summer of 2019. Evacuated from the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak of Wuhan, China, we continued the children’s education by joining Seton!
The three kids have been able to finish the 6th, 4th, and Pre-3, respectively. We love Seton because it very rigorous, and it has a great curriculum! We enjoy it because it allows us to continue learning more about Jesus and the Catholic Church no matter where we may go. During this evacuation, the children spent time in transition in 3 different states and successfully keep working on their school work!
What are your interests?
Joseph loves everything to do with rockets and robotics. Cecilia loves animals, nature, and stuffed animals.
What are you inspired to do with your life?
Joseph and Cecilia have been traveling all their lives. Although Joseph is just 12 years old and Cecilia is only 10, they have lived in Mexico City, Mexico, Washington, DC, Asuncion, Paraguay, Vilnius, Lithuania, and Wuhan, China. They also love spending the summers with their family in North Carolina.
Joseph would like to be a rocket engineer when he grows up. Cecilia would like to be a veterinarian.
What are your favorite subjects, and why?
Joseph’s favorite subject is science. Cecilia enjoys Religion and Art.
The photo was taken with all our bags packed and ready to leave Wuhan, China. Pictured are Joseph (12), Cecilia (10), Marcela (3), and Luisa Tolsma (Mom). We were in the van getting ready to caravan out of the city on our way the Wuhan Airport during our last hours in China in January 2020.