CBYXAA Photo Contest Winners

Blake Goodman

1st Place Overall Winner

Elisabeth Johnson | 35.PPP High School

When I was on exchange my camera went with me everywhere. This is one of my favorite photos from my exchange year because it captures the mood of my favorite place in Germany! My host mom’s kitchen was one of the central places of my exchange year. We spent most of our evenings hanging around the wood burning stove doing puzzles and playing games. Sometimes Irmi, my host mom, brewed tea from leaves and berries she found in the woods, sometimes we made cheese from milk provided by our goats, sometimes we dried out apples we found around our neighborhood and made chips. This picture was taken one of the weekends my host sister Elisabeth came home for a visit. She tried to play a guitar that was missing a string and hadn’t been tuned in years which sent the whole kitchen into peals of laughter.


Jon Yahirun

2nd Place Overall Winner

Dawn Gartlehner (Hockenberry) | 4.PPP High School

January 1988 A visit to the Berlin Wall. Years later I would regret not being on the photo because I’m the one taking the picture. From January 17 – 23, 1988, we visited Berlin with our exchange group. On January 20, we even visited East Berlin for a day. Years later I would commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a blog post about the experience (written under my pen name): https://www.kcblau.com/tag/walls/?fbclid=IwAR2LkIdo2Bd3BSC8qoX6YxzbMquUkGgH3yD9Onhhvu5Iux4I6Un0IUuSKC0

Robert Barrett

3rd Place Overall Winner

Dana Ringler | 33.PPP High School

Rapsblumen illuminated the endless flat farmland in Norddeutschland, Northern Germany, my host family home. German culture gets the stereotype of being cold and direct, and maybe in East Berlin during the Cold War that might have been the case, or because there is no colloquially used present progressive sentence structure so I was always forced to say “I go to the store” instead of “I am going…” But a year of holidays, classroom learning, and changing seasons adjusted my assumptions. My host mom took me on a bicycle ride through the blooming fields, and our smiles were infectious.

Stefan Knoepfel

Adventure Category Winner

Cullin Flynn | 34.PPP Young Professionals

Final descent to Seealpsee: After a full day of travel, including hitchhiking with half a dozen Swiss comrades, an elated Cullin Flynn looks to set up camp among cows on pasture.

Myiah Smith

Host Family Category Winner

Audrey Jonas | 24.PPP High School

Katrin Berger (left), pictured with Audrey Jonas, CBYX High School 2007-2008, in 2014 in Knesebeck, Germany, on Katrin’s wedding day. In 2013, on the tail end of a trip to Europe, my host family met me in Berlin, Germany. There, I met for the first time my host sister’s boyfriend. They seemed very happy and in love, and to my surprise, broke the news that they were engaged! My host sister asked me to be her “Trauzeugen”, or witness. Following their tradition, the groom and bride each pick one person from either side to stand up in their wedding– I was honored she chose me! A year later I traveled back to Germany and got to experience all of the other wedding traditions: Polterabend, wherein guests bring porcelain to break to bring luck to the marriage and “Wiegenbaum holen”, wherein guests of the wedding cut down a tree the following morning for the newlyweds to work together to saw in half.

My host mother captured this silly moment between us right after the wedding ceremony. The wedding weekend was full of adventures (and a lot of moments that I didn’t totally understand…), but the best part was being by her side during this occasion.

Erik Spooner

Student Life Category Winner

Sarah Anderson | 27.PPP High School

Erik Spooner is a creative leader with two decades of experience in the media, entertainment and technology industries. His work has included digital start-ups, event design, photography, interactive design, broadcast, and traditional print design for major media outlets like Us Weekly, Discover, Rolling Stone and Ad Age. Currently leading the brand and editorial creative team at Ad Age, where he directed its 2017 rebranding effort to wide acclaim, Erik built an agile, high-performance creative services team. Spanning digital, video, brand, art direction, photo and design, this team is regarded for collaboration and communication by business teams and newsroom journalists alike, including a diverse roster of clients, from TikTok to Accenture, Publicis to WPP. He is also a CBYX for Young Professionals Alum and spent his year in both Cologne and Berlin in 2006-2007. Hailing from Nashville, he currently lives and works in New York City and studies in Berlin, Germany.

Alexandra Cain

Holiday Category Winner

Emily Wood | 31.PPP High School

Living near Hamburg, the Hafengeburtstag is a huge festival that celebrates Germany’s largest port. As part of the celebrations, there is a ship parade, ranging from small tugboats to giant cruise ships. In the background you can see the Elbphilharmonie (still not finished when I took this picture)

Michelle Hayward

Internship Category Winner

Sarah Rice | 36.PPP Vocational

Intern Sarah Rice takes on the role of an anesthesiologist in the ÄHF Ärztehaus Friedrichshain  Medical Center in Berlin, Germany. As an intern with developing German and medical skills, Sarah was met with great responsibility and vast trust when it came to the medical patients. Sarah worked alongside surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists and aided their surgeries as well as helping in their patient recovery center. Coming into the CBYX program with the intention of pursuing finance and having no prior medical experience, Sarah learned and developed her own skills significantly while building tremendous, life-changing, cross-cultural relationships along the way.  

Jennifer Huffman

Honorable Mention

Kai Dambach | 32.PPP Young Professionals

Ryan Gibson, better known as “Bayern Ryan,” shows off his fake eye just before the start of the 2019 DFB Pokal Finale between FC Bayern München and RB Leipzig in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. He lost his eye to Ocular Melanoma, a rare eye cancer, and got permission from FC Bayern München to put the logo on his fake eye. He took a trip from the US to see FC Bayern München win the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal, as well as meet his hero, FC Bayern München winger Franck Ribery.

Elizabeth Khumbari

Honorable Mention

Myiah Smith | 31.PPP High School

Myiah Smith was speechless as she stood across from Zugspitze, the highest peak of the German Alps. After a day-long langlauf trip up the mountain with her host family, coatless, sweaty, and a tad sore; the views took her breath away. The ridged snow-capped mountain terrain melted out into the horizon. A distant plane flew by like butter, reminding Myiah she was horizon away from home. No amount of snow in North East Washington D.C. could ever compare. Deutschland. She was there.

Chris O'Neill

Honorable Mention

Christiana Boothman | 36.PPP High School

One misty morning I awoke in the city of Würzburg to watch the sunrise. As I stepped onto the ancient bridge, I saw a man biking through the mist, and I quickly got out my camera and took the photo. This photo is one of my favorites, and it perfectly captures that beautiful morning, so that I can remember it for the rest of my life.