I am Vesa Sherifi, an exchange student from Macedonia, placed in Kansas City Missouri. Being from such a small place as Macedonia, you want to talk to people about your country all the time and inform them more and more. The YES program has given me this opportunity in the best was possible where through all these months I had the chance to talk to little kids, middle-school kids, teenagers, young-adult and a lot of other group of people.
This time, after I applied through my placement organization AFS, I had the chance to share my YES experience and talk about Macedonia to senators and the Governor of Kansas State. Couple of weeks ago, I had the honor and I was lucky enough to get chosen by the Senate of Kansas State to work as a page for a day on the floor of the Legislature.
This experience was one of the most beautiful and excited ones. We were hosted by the Senator Julia Lynn, who teared up when she heard about our stories, about being an exchange students, about our mission and especially the struggles of winning such a scholarship. I got the opportunity to learn more about the American Government and at the same time talk to a lot of Senate workers about AFS, about the YES Program and about Macedonia. The most amazing moment of that day was when Senator Julia Lynn, in front of the whole Senate introduced me and called me and other foreign exchange students “Ambassadors” of our countries. She teared up again while sharing our stories and that was followed with a standing ovation from everyone in the Senate Chamber.
After a few days, I got a mail where Ms. Julia Lynn sent me the Journal of the Senate of that day and said that I was part of their history now, by being mention in it!
Once again I saw what a beautiful thing is to be and exchange student, what an honor is to be the one who connects two different places and most importantly it reminded me that our mission here is very valuable and important for both, our home countries and United States itself.