YES students often find creative ways to give back to their host communities, as did October Student of the Month Firaz Perisan (YES 2017-2018, Turkey, hosted by AFS in Roseville, CA).
Firaz arrived in Roseville, CA with hair past his shoulders. On August 30, he and his host mother went to a salon, where Firaz got a very special haircut. The purpose was to donate his long locks to Wigs for Kids, an organization that creates free wigs and hair pieces for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation, alopecia, burns, or other medical issues. An AFS volunteer said, "I was just struck by how generous this was for Firaz to do and just demonstrates so fully what our organization and the YES Program is all about. I'm proud to have him as a student on my team!" His host family and neighbors have also commented on his generosity and eagerness to lend a hand whenever possible."
Firaz attends Oakmont High School, where he is excelling academically. He has also assisted in feeding the homeless at a local church, signed up to volunteer at a local children's theatre, registered for a local volunteer network, is planning to give presentations at his high school about his home country, Turkey, and intends to devote time every week to volunteer work.
Firaz’s host mother enjoys spending time with Firaz and his double placement brother from Morocco. She noted that the two students have “long, and extremely interesting, conversations regarding politics, history, culture, diversity and religion. Both young men are very knowledgeable and provide us with a fascinating perspective from their areas of the world.”
Congratulations on your generous and thoughtful actions, Firaz!