This story is part of a series of blog entries to mark the 20th anniversary of the Future Leaders Exchange program (FLEX) in Ukraine. FLEX is the U.S. Government’s premier high school exchange program. For more information about U.S. exchanges please click here.
Posted by: Artem Sukhorukov, Future Leaders Exchange Program 2002-2003, Enka High School, Asheville, North Carolina
You can’t imagine the amazing impressions I received while living in the US and having the opportunity to finish school there. To a kid from a provincial town in Northern Ukraine, this was something I could not let slip out of my hands. As part of the FLEX program, I was enrolled at Enka High School in Albany, NC. Studying abroad helped me mature emotionally, spiritually and gain a wide view of the world. The life there made me completely rethink my understanding of life and the world as I know it. It was a major event that significantly added friendships and partnerships that are on a long way to prospering in the future.
I am an honors student and intellectual show winner. I have participated in NATO academies and was a state-level delegate to the NATO headquarters. I was a Global Security conference attendee. These achievements were possible thanks to the foreign exchange program. I would have been an entirely different person had I not participated in it.
My most sincere gratitude goes to this unmatched exchange for giving me such an opportunity to compete with kids of my age from across the globe and show myself to others. This has been a memorable experience. I thank all the people that helped me out while I was in the US and hope to see other students from Ukraine tackle this unique challenge.