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Ayusa YES Student Shares Special Memories with Her Host Family

Ayusa YES Student Shares Special Memories with Her Host Family

“That one very special day, that's where I really felt and said to myself ‘Wow Sahayan, you're really a part of this family.’”

Ayusa students have the opportunity to have many new experiences while in the U.S. While simple moments and gestures made by the host families may seem small, these are the moments that stay with students for a lifetime. An Ayusa YES student had an experience that she says will “be treasured in my lifetime.”

Sahayan, from the Philippines, has been living with the Gordon Family in Washington. On Christmas Day, her host brother proposed to his girlfriend. “I never thought that I would be able to witness one of my host siblings embark into the new chapter of life…I was so happy for both of them,” she shared.

While preparing for the wedding, Sahayan began to wonder what she would do while her host family was in Utah for the wedding. “I think you’ll be by yourself,” she assumed to herself but also reassured herself “OK I got this!”

Sahayan was surprised to find, however, that she was of course invited to the wedding. Not only was she invited, though, the bride-to-be asked her to be a bridesmaid! “That's where I really felt that they viewed me as one of their family members. As an exchange student, it really felt so nice to have a family that treasures you more than their exchange student, I'm so blessed to be part of this awesome family.”

On the day of the wedding Sahayan shares, “I was the only bridesmaid who was different among the others; I was the only one who was wearing a headscarf. And this didn't bother them from choosing me as one of their bridesmaids.”

Ayusa treasures stories such as Sahayan’s. When where we are from becomes less important that who we are. When strangers become family.

“That one very special day, that's where I really felt and said to myself ‘Wow Sahayan, you're really a part of this family.’”