Ihor Mykytenko, a World Link-placed Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) student from Ukraine, has dedicated himself to getting the most out of his exchange year by volunteering in his host community, becoming an active student, and creating an intimate bond with his host family.
With a goal of completing 30 hours of community service a month, Ihor really stands out from other students in his school. During October, he achieved this goal by volunteering every Wednesday at a local church, tutoring ESL children in English and math, and serving dinner to these same children. Ihor has also dedicated his time to the World Fair and Music Festival, working as an educator in the information booth and participating as a member of the clean-up crew.
Not only is Ihor active in the community, he is engaged in academic life as well. He is a member of the Interact Club, where he can be found scheduling his volunteer activities. Ihor has also joined the International Spirit Club, an organization that is devoted to helping international students adapt to life in America and engaging with their host communities. During an International Spirit Club meeting, Ihor introduced a charity fundraising project that allowed members to sell hand-made jewelry during a local event called “Reggie’s Sleep Out.” To raise money for the campaign, Ihor sold his own Ukrainian souvenirs. He displayed his passion and commitment to community service by raising $570 for this charity event, which went to helping at-risk youth in the Iowa Youth Homeless Centers.
Although Ihor dedicates many hours to his community and school, he still finds time to spend with his host family. Ihor has helped his host father landscape around the perimeter of the house. He also helped to clean out the basement and garage. Through connecting with his community, school, and host family, Ihor will surely continue going above and beyond during his exchange year.