Future Leaders Exchange Program student from Kyrgyzstan ready for a bump in a high school volleyball game
When Aliia is on the court, she is always at the ready [original image: Land Stringer Photography].

Bump, Set, Score!

Volleyball. For a long time I was interested in this sport, but I have never played on a team. I would have never thought that I would learn to play volleyball in the United States and play on the high school team. 

I began to practice from the first day after my arrival in Linton. There were many difficulties, but I did not give up. Every practice, I played better. Every movement was better than the previous one. Every day for a month, I worked on myself. Also, thanks to my mom/coach, for her love, advice and support. Thanks also to my great team; the girls taught and helped me.

After a month of training, I went on the court for a real game. In the first game, I scored a point! It was very exciting. From the stands, I heard the cheering of my name while I hit the ball. I was just overwhelmed by feelings; I jumped from happiness. Those feelings cannot be conveyed in words.

I am happy that I became a part of volleyball and the best team. I spend time improving myself and having fun with the girls. Also, thanks to volleyball I have many friends. I will continue to develop my athletic abilities and win!

—Aliia (FLEX, Kyrgyzstan), hosted by the Astleford family (IN)