Younger brother Henry seems the more serious outdoorsman.

YES Student of the Month (Oct. 2019)

PAX is excited to nominate Koena, an exchange student from South Africa, studying in VT, to be YES Student of the Month.

The Delaneys, Koena’s host family, say that he has easily slid into their lives and family. He has joined the family on many adventures together, including riding his first roller coaster at a local theme park, paddling a canoe, hiking, and camping. He has a genuine joy for sharing his language and his culture with his host family.

Around the house, Koena volunteers to help with chores, maintains a tidy room, and even helps the family stack firewood.

Koena has eagerly tried to get involved in his new local community. Within the first week of arrival, he was already volunteering at a nature camp, where he received an award for “exemplary service.” Within his first month, Koena had already achieved more than 26 hours of completed volunteer service!

Due to his early involvement in the community, the South African was quickly able to make friends—including with teens who ended up being his classmates.

Koena is very ambitious in his academics. He is taking a full course load, including advanced classes such as chemistry, adventure sports, and Spanish. Koena and his host brother are learning Spanish in school, and they often practice together at home. Koena’s teachers are very complimentary of him and say that his approach to learning and participating in classes is “energetic and joyful.”

Koena has joined the school’s soccer team and is an enthusiastic teammate. He has also joined the robotics club and chorale.

Independently, Koena has begun teaching himself to play the harmonica and the piano—why not!?

Koena is a model exchange student and a wonderful representative of South Africa, the YES program, and of PAX as an organization.  It is with great enthusiasm that we nominate Koena for YES Student of the Month, October 2019.

—The PAX Sponsored Team