Young Leader Learns & Shares in Catholic School
Indonesian exchange student experiences snow for the first time

YES Student of the Month (April 2022)

PAX is honored to nominate Candyle, a YES exchange student from Indonesia and West Richland, Washington, to be the April YES Student of the Month.

Candyle, who goes by Candy, has gone above and beyond to share her culture, country, and religion with everyone she meets. From little everyday occurrences to larger conversations and situations, Candy is always thankful for what's around her, while being an advocate for herself and her religion (Islam). She is the perfect example of a YES ambassador. 

Candy’s host mother says she is dedicated to improving herself and being her best every day. Candy has helped educate not only her host family but their extended family members as well—particularly about her culture and religion. From sharing food to engaging in heartfelt discussions, she is always finding ways to showcase her country while simultaneously embracing American culture.

Candy excels academically. She attends Tri-Cities Prep, which is a Catholic college preparatory high school with rigorous academics, and maintains a 4.0. She's taking all honors classes: including Geometry, U.S. History, American Literature, Chemistry, and Christian Morality. For her elective, she really stepped out of her comfort zone to try something new and is learning Ballet Folklorico, which is a traditional Spanish dance. 

From sharing food to engaging in heartfelt discussions, she is always finding ways to showcase her country while simultaneously embracing American culture.  

Candy strives to overcome obstacles in school. When she doesn't understand something, she finds a solution. For example, Candy independently sought tutoring to help with classwork she wasn't understanding. In her Cristian Morality class, she has served as a great resource, teaching her classmates about her Muslim religion and addressing misunderstandings and misconceptions. She is not afraid to voice her opinion, but she does so respectfully and in a very polite way.

Candy has also joined several clubs and extracurricular activities at school including the birthday club and flower club, and she's playing softball for the first time on the varsity team this spring.

During International Education Week (IEW), Candy did numerous presentations about her country. Her presentation to her junior class for IEW was so impactful that the dean of the school ended up having her present to all the staff and students at every grade level. Additionally, Candy worked with her PAX coordinator, a teacher at her community’s middle school, to give her presentation to 150 seventh and eighth graders.

Candy is always looking for opportunities to serve the community and has 83 volunteer hours already completed. Some examples of her volunteer work include making tie blankets for Project Linus, volunteering her time to help teachers before and after school, and spending time at a senior center playing games, telling stories, and enjoying time together.

Candy enjoys activities and interacting with the local church youth group. She also has attended the local Islamic Center and made connections with fellow Muslims in the community. Additionally, she's held social gatherings for friends and other exchange students from a variety of different exchange programs where they were all able to learn about one another's cultures.

While providing information for this nomination, her host mother commented on how humble Candy is. She said Candy often feels she's not deserving of this experience and that there isn't anything "special" about her, but everyone who knows Candy is quick to point out all her amazing attributes.

It is this humbleness and devotion to education and cultural exchange that makes Candyle a great representative of Indonesia, the YES Program, and PAX.

—The PAX Sponsored Team