Ukrainian Commitment and Dedication
Exchange student from Ukraine in the swimming jacket of her Indiana high school team

FLEX Student of the Month, December 2021

PAX - Program of Academic Exchange is pleased to nominate Anastasiya Fomina, a FLEX exchange student from Ukraine and Portland, IN, to be the December FLEX Student of the Month.

Anastasiya has worked hard since her first day in America. Anastasiya is a Language Program student* and has had to work hard on her language skills while adjusting to her host family, community, and culture. Anastasiya dedicated herself to improving her English skills and has improved tremendously. Despite the time needed to devote to her language tutoring, Anastasiya has still taken time to volunteer in her community, spend quality time with her host family, and maintain straight A's in all of her classes!

Anastasiya has adjusted well to living in America and with her host family. She genuinely loves and appreciates her family and has fit in as a member of the family since the day she arrived. Her host mom says they have a lot of good family fun, and Anastasiya joins in without hesitation. Anastasiya is always willing to do household chores and loves to cook for her host family. She also attends church with the family each week and participates in their small group gatherings regularly. When asked about her relationship with her host family, Anastasiya says, “They’re just amazing. They started to be for me like a real family. They’re my biggest supporters.” She was also quick to point out how much fun they are!   

Anastasiya’s host mom says, “She has brought our family so much joy! She is a very caring young lady and has a heart of gold!” The family has become very close with Anastasiya. They have already taken many trips together, and Anastasiya encourages the family to play games along the way instead of everyone tuning out with their electronics. 

Anastasiya is doing amazing in school. Her grades are excellent, and she is well-liked among her peers. Currently, she is taking English, History, Spanish, Honors Algebra II, Graphic Arts, German, and Principles of Hospitality. Anastasiya has enjoyed both learning about American culture and teaching her peers and teachers about Ukraine. Anastasiya prepared her presentation for International Education Week early and has already presented it five times. 

Outside of academics, Anastasiya recently joined the swim and dive team. She has never been a competitive swimmer but is looking forward to her first meet swimming the 50m freestyle. Anastasiya will also be springboard diving for the first time. Additionally, she is a member of the German club and the HOSA (Health Occupations for Students of America) club.

Anastasiya has spent a lot of time volunteering during the first few months of her exchange year. She has already exceeded her minimum requirement and is well on her way to her goal of 100 hours! To date, Anastasiya has completed 62 hours of volunteering in only three months! Most of Anastasiya’s volunteer time has been spent at Cat Tales/Midwest Pet Refuge—an animal rescue center in Portland, IN. Although there have been plenty of animal cuddles, most of Anastasiya’s hours are spent at the rescue center doing much less glamorous work. She has painted, cleaned cages, changed litter boxes, swept floors, and more. When not helping at the animal rescue, Anastasiya has been volunteering with her HOSA club making and serving food at a local church for people in need.

Everyone loves Anastasiya’s sense of humor. She has used laughter to get through many challenges since she’s arrived. Anastasiya’s never-ending commitment to making this year count and her dedication to improvement has led us to nominate her for the FLEX Program Student of the Month!

—The PAX Sponsored team


*The Language Program allows otherwise strong FLEX applicants whose English level is a bit below their peers' to start the program a bit early while receiving intense English language training.