February 28, 2018

FLEX Student of the Month – February 2018

We are pleased to announce Madina Arapova, a World Link placed FLEX Student from Kazakhstan, hosted in California, as the February 2018 Student of the Month. Madina is just over halfway through her stay in the United States, and she has completed over 150 hours of community service for an array of organizations. She also has dedicated herself to representing her country as an ambassador by completing 31 presentations during International Education Week and seven more in December. Madina avidly pursues her academics at Highland High School by taking five AP/honors courses while achieving a 4.33 GPA. She has played tennis, volleyball and currently softball for her high school teams, and she received a student athlete award from her school. Madina also is involved with multiple extracurricular organizations at her school including Interact, Red Cross Club, the Academic team, Kindness Club, and her self-started organization - the International Solidarity Club. 

Madina’s dedication to service and extracurricular activities has benefitted her local community immensely. One of her unique contributions is the International Solidarity Club that she and her host sister from Lebanon created at their high school, which plans school-wide events, like International Food Day, as well as a trip to the Museum of Tolerance to encourage others to learn, understand and collaborate with other cultures and beliefs. She promotes fire safety as both an ambassador and a Red Cross volunteer, through which she installed free smoke detectors throughout her community. For both the Red Cross and Interact, Madina organized multiple toy donation events for impoverished children and the homeless. She also was a part of the initiative by a non-profit “Second Star to the Right” to wrap and donate over 1,000 toys to children battling cancer. These are just a few of the organizations she joined to improve her town.

While Madina donates much of her time to extracurricular organizations, she still finds time to spend with her host family, as they are profoundly important to her and her experience in the U.S. Her host dad was able to expand her charity work by having Madina join him for his annual volunteer initiative of hand-carrying soup to the homeless. She is soaking up American culture by learning how to make cake and brownies while simultaneously sharing her own; she celebrated New Year's with her host family by cooking traditional Kazakh dishes like beshbarmak, bauyrsaks and Russian olivie salad. She has also gone with them on trips to local attractions. Madina epitomizes a model program ambassador and host student representing her native country.

Congratulations Madina! 

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