Teenager with flag by river
Tara shows off her Montenegrin pride wherever she goes—including on this trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

May 2018 FLEX Student of the Month

Tara has excelled during her experience as an exchange student in the United States. She has developed as a leader and community member during her time in Ossian, IN, and has embraced her American experience. She is already planning projects to implement back in her home country when she becomes a FLEX alumna this summer, just a few months away!

During her exchange year, Tara maintained a 4.0 GPA while staying involved in many school clubs and activities, volunteering, and presenting about her country. She received the “Outstanding Team Spirit” award on her volleyball team and participated on the JV swim team. She currently manages the varsity softball team at her high school. Tara is also a member of the drama club, German club, the high school newspaper, Campus Life, and Friends of the Shelter. Despite a hectic schedule and impeccably keeping up with her classwork, Tara also gave several presentations about her home country during International Education Week. One of her presentations at a nearby county high school that had no sponsored international students enrolled resulted in the school principal’s decision to open his school to international exchange. Inspired by her student presentation and her personal interactions that day, he has committed to host international students in the future and has already enrolled a student for the second semester and for the 2018/19 school year! Tara’s leadership and inspiration has advocated for and directly benefited the FLEX program and other sponsored programs.

With over 100 volunteer community service hours completed, Tara shows a great deal of attention, not only to her local community, but also to the international community. She completed many of her volunteer hours at Forgotten Children Worldwide, an organization that ships clothing to orphanages in India. She also sold candy to fundraise for another local student who needed a prosthetic eye, and she was the second-highest candy seller (she raised $300!) in that successful endeavor. Tara participated in the FLEX Civic Education Workshop and loved the opportunity to meet with her state representatives on Capitol Hill. As the first student from Montenegro hosted at her school, Tara has shown great initiative in being an amazing representative of her country.

Congratulations, Tara!

—U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs