Ukrainian Finds Purpose
Exchange student from Ukraine speaks at podium reading "The American Presidency"

A formative week in the District

During this spring, I sincerely blossomed. I realized what I wanted to dedicate myself to in the future in just seven days.

Back in February, exchange students submitted applications and wrote essays to go to a workshop in Washington, D.C. I applied because I spent time with friends studying the political structure in America.

After submitting an essay, I received the long-awaited letter that I was going to have one of the best weeks of my exchange year. I spent the Civic Education Workshop (CEW) week with 50 wonderful and unique students.

Now, I know how to dance Armenian dances, learned a few words in Kazakh, Greek, and Polish, and of course, learned more about the Senate after meeting with staffers who enthusiastically shared their unique experiences.

Our trip was filled with history as we studied different monuments and theories related to their location. During one of the lectures, we were asked, "What is your biggest achievement in your year of exchange?” I raised my hand boldly and replied, “So far, I have been proud of my 300 volunteer hours and being actively involved in my state's activities, but now I am proud to be in a room with judicial branch representatives and the brightest students with kind hearts.”

I realized that I want to connect my life with people and help them, so that everyone has the opportunity to smile sincerely and soothe the trembling in the soul of joy. After all, as Confucius said, "Do what you like, and you will not work a day in your life."

—Anna (FLEX, Ukraine), hosted by the Wilson family (IN)