From a Co-op Member: Ajit from India

Please consider helping a co-op member with her important work in our community! 

I am the Indiana Regional Director for PAX, living in Columbus, IN. Program of Academic Exchange is a Department of State designated nonprofit international high school exchange organization. Each year, PAX facilitates in the placing of some of the best students from over 70 countries around the world. In doing this, we fulfill our mission to create mutual respect among the people of the world, to foster appreciation of our differences and similarities, and to enhance our ability to communicate with one another.

We have been fortunate enough to be selected by the Dept. of State to work with the Kennedy-Lugar YES scholarship program. The YES program advances mutual understanding between the United States and countries with significant Muslim populations and promotes international security and peace by teaching American and foreign participants about each other, alleviating misunderstanding, and making for a better informed citizenry able to deal more effectively with international issues. These teens are chosen in an open merit based competition out of thousands that apply based on their leadership potential, maturity level, personality, and willingness to be a young ambassador. They have strong English skills and are eager to explore America.

This program also has students with disabilities. This last year we had a Malaysian deaf student that was hosted by a family in Greensburg and attended the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis. The family will also be hosting a deaf girl from Pakistan this year, also attending ISD. Both of these students were generously referred by the International School of Columbus. In order for the students to attend the Deaf or Blind school, they must be referred by a school and IS of C has been so supportive and helpful with this process, with no benefit to them, whatsoever. The student doesn't attend there and really has no connection with the school, but IS of C does the work, generously and graciously.

The reason I am writing is because we have a blind student from India that we are working to find a host family for this coming school year, 2013-14. Ajit is a high achieving student that uses adaptive technology and attends a mainstream school in India. He will be attending the School for the Blind  during the week, so the family will only be hosting on the weekends.

Here is a little more about him:

Ajit is a motivated young man that loves a good challenge. He is known in school as a dazzling orator of self-written poetry. He keeps informed with current events and has impressed peers and teachers alike with debating skills. Ajit “is a confident child who has the ability to interact with people from all walks of life.” As such, he gets along with all his peers and enjoys taking part in various co-curricular activities and projects. Ajit values education of all varieties and in all forms, from classroom lessons to life experiences. He makes a point of surrounding himself with people who can contribute to his development, friends that spark fascinating discussions. Ajit is eager to learn about technological advancements that are not available in India. Furthermore, he would love to learn how to swim, an activity he’s always admired. Ajit’s sense of independence is admirable and he never wants to be perceived as a burden. He is looking forward to his upcoming experience as a chance to step out of his comfort zone and fine-tune his leadership skills.

His interests include: Chess, Running, Poetry, Debate, Yoga, Cricket
Also, he is Hindu, Vegetarian, has 7 years of English and an A GPA

Additionally, I think that most of Indiana does not realize that the esteemed former Senator, Richard Lugar, is responsible, along with Ted Kennedy, for creating this amazing scholarship program which also has scholarships for American students to study abroad. It was created after 9/11 to help promote peace and understand.

I am available by phone, 342-4101, email, christir@pax.org or can come in personally to speak with you.

Warm regards,

Christi Reynolds
PAX Regional Director

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