In November of 2009 the Ayusa headquarters office was overflowing with wonderful submissions for this year's International Education Week contest. The Ayusa students who participated in this exciting event sponsored by the Department of State, sent in applications that proved Ayusa students take our mission of fostering cultural exchange to heart. From these submissions our selection committee was able to choose three contestants who really stood out from the crowd. Thank you to everyone who submitted applications for your hard work, dedication, and creativity!
1st prize: Diyorbek Davlatbek Ganijon from Uzbekistan
Diyorbek Davlatbek Ganijon is from Uzbekistan and living with the Coutu family in San Antonio, Texas. Diyorbek impressed this year's IEW judges with his attention to detail and ability to truly engage his audience in learning about Uzbekistan. He used several interactive games and activities to involve the participants, and had a great time while doing it! Diyorbek presented to over 500 people throughout the week, and went to two different high schools for his presentations. A presentation participant wrote:
"Diyorbek transported his audience to a place most has never heard of before. He created excitement among his classmates and made a lasting impression on them."
2nd prize: Rafid Khan from Bangladesh
Rafid Khan is a YES scholarship student from Bangladesh and is living with the Peterson family in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. Rafid's passion for IEW was readily apparent to his audiences throughout the week. In total Rafid completed almost twenty presentations to over 1,000 students at his local high school and middle school. His engaging presentations not only included an informative power point about the history and culture of his country, but he took the time to explain the intricate wedding ceremony in Bangladesh with traditional clothing and music. His local coordinator, Debbie Rocklemann has said on repeated occasions that Rafid is one of the best ambassadors the YES program has ever seen, helping her to spread the word about this wonderful scholarship in their community.
3rd prize: Aniya Marsingul from Thailand
Aniya Marsingul is from Thailand and is living with the Denny family in Burnsville, North Carolina. Aniya started her work on IEW before she even arrived in the US, diligently and thoughtfully preparing. Once in the US, she worked every day after school on the various elements of her very thorough presentations. Through her use of videos, demonstrations of traditional music and dancing, and even the cooking of Thai food, Aniya has gone above and beyond to engage and educate her school and community about the history, beauty and traditions of Thailand. She presented to about 120 classmates and teachers throughout the week. Many of those who viewed Aniya's presentations were in awe of her hard work and enthusiasm in presenting on a country that many of her classmates did not know much about. One of Aniya's teachers wrote that "All students at Mountain Heritage High School have benefitted from Aniya's presence. She has been both a blessing and a pleasure."