The meeting for participants of the Polish and Ukrainian edition of the FLEX* program was held on September 23rd-24th, 2017, at the Cracow University of Economics.
The Alumni Association has been invited by the coordinator for the American Council Foundation for International Education (Polish division), Mr Mykola Artemenko, to participate in this event. On Saturday, September 23rd Mrs Anna Krzeminska-Kaczynska, Vice-President of the Alumni Association, had an opportunity to meet the participants and talk about the Association.
During this meeting the Alumni Association’s mission, activities, building a network and scope of operations for the Road Show project has been presented to the young participants. Those of them who have already reached legal age were encouraged to join the Association’s ranks.
In addition, during conversations with the young FLEX participants Anna Krzeminska-Kaczynska shared her experiences related to the Alumni Association. She focused on developing an efficient network of contacts, searching for partners for writing grant applications and their execution, looking for support in different areas of professional development and education, as well as learning about American culture through participation in thematic and diplomatic meetings. As a teacher in classes preparing for IB – internationally recognized high school graduation exams, and a coordinator of international exchange programs Anna Krzeminska-Kaczynska already had the opportunity to interact with young FLEX participant in the United States. This experience allowed her to point out to the participatns possible paths of development and opportunities created by involvement in the Association. The students were very interested in getting to know the Alumni living in their area and participating in programs supported by the American government. They eagerly shared observations from their American experience of staying with American families and attending school in the U.S., reflecting on the best ways to take advantage of opportunities presented by the year long stay in the USA and their own potential in order to fulfill their dreams for the future. The atmosphere of the meeting was very cordial, the participants of the FLEX program as well as the authorities of the Alumni Association are hoping for a fruitful cooperation in the future.
* Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program has been approved by the U.S. Congress in 1992. It is being administrated by the American Councils for International Education, which receives thousands of applications every year from high school students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. In Poland a competition was recently concluded as part of the second FLEX edition 2017/2018, and another group of over 30 students is headed for the United States.
Flex is a year-long, fully financed by the USA State Department exchange program for high school students. The scholarship covers costs of travel to the U.S., stay with the host family, monthly expenses, an educational program in an American high school and pre-travel training in Poland.