We are pleased to announce Kateryna “Kate” Falchyyan, an ASSE-placed FLEX Student from Ukraine, hosted in Alabama, as the January 2018 Student of the Month. Kate came to the United States wanting to change herself from the inside out. On her arrival, she was shy, quiet, and not very confident about herself. However, encouragement from her host family has already made her more outgoing; making new friends, trying new things and participating in many different activities. Kate says her host family encourages her to do the things her grandparents and family in Ukraine have been pushing her to do for years but that she now has the courage and determination to pursue. Kate is very polite and friendly, has a beautiful smile, and beams with joy with each new experience.
Kate volunteers for many different organizations, currently completing 86.5 hours of community service. She volunteers at the library once a week, washes baby clothes at a pregnancy testing center, volunteers at the church nursery, and helps the local food bank distributing food. She also traveled to Atlanta with the Key Club to pack boxes for Operation Shoebox. When she is not volunteering, Kate is busy with other extra-curricular activities including basketball, cross-country, Key Club, school choir, and is on the Teen Council for the city she lives in. She has also participated in a ride-along with the police and fire department.
Kate continued to volunteer in the mayor’s office after completing her job shadowing for her ASSE leadership project. Kate says that spending time with the mayor gave her the opportunity to understand how the civic system works and see the similarities and differences between America and Ukraine government. “I really enjoyed my time with the mayor. In the end, I feel like this was a real exchange in culture and allowed me time to reflect and think about how I fit into my society in Ukraine. I also walked away with ideas for my other projects and other ways I can become involved in this community.”
Kate has enthusiastically embraced the goals of the FLEX program and has blossomed with the opportunity. Her host family and ASSE are very proud of her hard work and want others to be proud as well. She is very unique and such a great representative of the FLEX program.