Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program participant from Kosovo at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Edina poses at the Library of Congress during a recent D.C. trip.

Student of the Month Nomination: Edina from Kosovo

Since arriving in the U.S., Edina has been very active in her school and community. She is full of enthusiasm and has a deep desire to experience all that the exchange program has to offer. In particular, she wants to experience any opportunity to educate others about her country and her religion. Edina has given presentations about Kosovo to three of her classes, the Lions Club, and to local middle school students in their World Cultures classes.

Edina’s goal is to volunteer at least 100 hours during the year, and she is on track to meet that goal. She volunteers extensively at our church in a variety of ways, including watching children in the nursery, volunteering with the youth group at a soup kitchen, creating comfort kits for homeless youth, and hosting a fundraiser for a food bank.

She has helped to bridge misunderstandings within the church community about Islam by speaking to the high school youth in September and the men’s class in February. Edina defended her faith very respectfully and maturely under difficult circumstances. The pastor describers her as “an engaged young woman interested in learning from the experiences of others while finding practical ways to share her own gifts and story.”

—Stephen and Courtney MCalley (VA), host parents of Edina (YES, Kosovo)