A Member of the Club(s)
Ukrainian exchange student is welcomed at airport by host mom and young host siblings

Ukrainian learns to take the initiative

I am Viktoriya from Ukraine and I cannot believe it has been two months since I arrived in the USA! The days of meeting my host family, first days of school, and meeting first friends feel like yesterday.

Sixty days in America has already taught me a lot of things. I became a more open, friendly, and initiative person. I have realized a simple truth—if you do not do it, nobody will! So I started doing things that I always wanted to do—volunteering and improving other people's lives.

So far, I have volunteered 50 hours and there is much more to come. I am an active member of the Interact Club, Honor Arts Club, Environmental, Bring Change 2 Mind, and Riley Marathon Club. I am also taking an officer position in the Best Buddies organization, which is trying to bring equality and helps people with special needs. Clubs and youth organizations made me value equality, tolerance, and diversity even more.

In the USA, I decided to improve my artistic potential and do something I have never tried before such as drama club, shows, and plays. In the future, I am looking forward to more things I have never tried!

I am forever grateful to FLEX, PAX, and my host family for giving me this opportunity. My host family really became like a second family to me. They are always there, ready to give advice and support!

My favorite time with my family was Ukrainian Independence Day. We all tried Ukrainian dishes such as borsch and cabbage rolls and celebrated it as we do in Ukraine.

Thanks to my host family, one of my dreams came true—I got to visit the Lume Exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Back in Ukraine, I would not have believed I would visit such a big art gallery. The Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Fair, and Spring Mill State Park were among my must-see locations as well.

Besides that, I am experiencing real friendships and supportive friends in the U.S. They are always happy to show me new places and explore Indiana with me.

—Viktoriya (FLEX, Ukraine), hosted by the Copp family (IN)