PAX international student from Pakistan learning about democratic principles during Model Legislature
Usman in deep thought during a meeting of the Winona Model Legislature

Halfway Point Reflections

I have had an amazing five months here in the U.S. I did so many things for the first time—kayaking, canoeing, and wall climbing. I learned to speak confidently, to debate, and gained leadership skills. Giving presentations about Pakistan in 32 different classes to almost 600 students, I didn’t only teach about Pakistan but also learned how open people are, how we can make a difference, and how exchange is essential for inter-cultural understanding.

By participating in Model Legislature and Model Assembly, I had firsthand experience of real democracy, and I am inspired by how young adults learn democratic principles. Overall it has been a great ride with its ups and downs, and it is helping me become a better person.

—Usman (YES, Pakistan), hosted by the Rothering family (MN)