American Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange

Adult woman posing with young girl

Participant Story

A-SMYLE Student of the Month - April 2016


Woman (Sonja) standing next to a little girl Sonja with her host sister
Sonja, a FLAG-placed American Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange (A-SMYLE) student from Serbia, has been described as well-rounded, thoughtful and a natural leader.  Her local coordinator says, “Sonja put others above and before herself.  I have watched her become the leader amongst her peers in the cluster. She is well-liked and respected by all. The students go to Sonja for advice and she is someone that they know they can confide and trust in.  Not only is Sonja a leader within her cluster, but also in her school, community and host family.” 

Sonja has already volunteered over 270 community service hours!  She has been involved in collecting food for a food bank, cleaning the homes of people who were victims of a large flood, and has put in countless hours helping to coach young children in the sport of volleyball, in addition to being an outstanding mentor and role model for them.  In addition to performing community service, Sonja has excellent grades, was a member of her school’s volleyball team and competes in club volleyball. 

Sonja adores her nine year old host sister. She and her host sister often sneak up on one another for hugs.  When her host father was asked, "What is the greatest memory you will have of Sonja?” he said, "…just seeing the relationship that she has with our daughter."

Sonja’s personal motto, “Always be positive and give 100% in all that you do!” illustrates why her leadership skills are instinctual.

Congratulations, Sonja!