Only two months into her exchange year, World Link-placed FLEX Student, Aiganym Khamitkhanova (Kazakhstan/CO), has already received one of her high school’s highest honors, volunteered 60 service hours, and taught her French Class about Kazakh traditions, holidays and language.
Due to Aiganym’s academic excellence, she was awarded “Huskie of the Quarter”. She received this award from her school principal and along with it came an invitation to be her high school’s representative for the local Rotary Club. Aiganym has also joined FBLA, to develop her leadership skills, and has made many American friends as part of the cross-country team.
Aiganym’s favorite volunteer activity is feeding the hungry at the free community dinner provided by the local church. Almost every Wednesday since her arrival, she has helped make food, serve it, and clean up afterwards. Aiganym is also involved in volunteering at her school. As an office aide, she handles student hallway passes and sorts mail, giving her greater insight into the U.S. educational system. Additionally, Aiganym has been an usher and essential crew member during a school play, in which proceeds benefitted a high school teacher diagnosed with cancer. In another project, Aiganym and her cross-country team took a break from running to clear a route for a community youth run.
Whether Aiganym has been volunteering, participating in school activities, or teaching her host sister how to make bauyrsaks, she has been grateful for every moment and continues to seek opportunities to get out of her comfort zone and be more involved in all aspects of her American life.