We would like to express our gratitude to you for your idea and effort in founding FSA FLEX Program. We truly appreciate this significant step toward developing friendship between the United States and Russia.
Being participants of this Program we learned to understand and accept a different culture and the fact that every nation and country is different and there are no right or wrong ways of doing things. It is truly incredible to know that we have so many dear friends across the Atlantic Ocean that we will always be in touch with. Time and distance are powerless compared to friendship that is connecting and uniting all of us in different parts of this big world. Thanks for organizing this Program and giving us opportunities to make friends and memories for life and to learn other culture.
Participating in the Program we got a different view on many issues such as gender, democracy, human rights, community life, and demographics and acquired useful skills and knowledge we can directly apply to our lives. Thanks for helping us to open up new sides of our personalities and be so self-motivated. We learned to depend only on personal choice and to be persistent in everything we undertake. All of us are attending the best universities of Volgograd and other cities and a lot of us already work unlike other students of our age. We learned to make others like and support what we do and join us and help us, we know how to better communicate with people and get along with them.
This was a very unique multicultural experience. We all were parts of local exchange groups and participated in activities that were offered to us by the different Placement Organizations. Getting to make friends from several different countries made us feel the citizens of the world and absorb the best things from other cultures. We learned how to share: share good times, share experience, share memories and share the cultures. People's kindness and care made us reciprocate and that is how we learned to treat people better, to help when it is needed. And our experience of community life in the US gave us a different perspective on how to help our Russian communities and improve their lives. Thank you that we are given an opportunity to take part in Small Grants Program and receive grants to promote community development at home. Alumni Association is a great thing each one of us is involved in. Every month we get to take part in different activities and gain new experience or share it with others. It is invaluable that we are always meeting with new alumni and can share and discuss our ideas together and work on projects together. The great newsletter Bradley Herald that is quarterly published in Moscow and sent to each alum/na is another way for us to get in touch with alumni and share our views on various subjects. Alumni Association program is really important to us also because we often get to take part in seminars, workshops, conferences, debates and receive guidance for further personal and professional development. It is especially important to learn new skills while being back in Russia and be aware of the opportunities we all have here. The past year we had such memorable activities as Grant writing seminar-training, Career building seminar, American Universities seminar and World after Sep 11 seminar-discussion. There are always unexplored areas to learn about and things we can discuss, so we take every chance we have to do that.
We all agree that one of the new things and perhaps the most important one we have discovered after we were FSA FLEX program participants is that we should never stop in front of the goals that seem hard to pursue and that we should always have those goals ahead, every time making them more ambitious. This way we can make our lives be like we see them in our dreams and we can build our future, thus building the future of our country. Thanks for helping us realize that every person's will, motivation, desire and persistence can make a big difference in the world and that we know how to make this difference. FSA FLEX program has shaped us and we are shaping the world around for everybody.