By Awa Sanokho (YES 2022-2023, Senegal, placed by Aspect in Bloomer, WI)
I have been in the United States for 5 months where I found a second family. They were super nice and welcoming towards me, having me in their lives and welcoming me into their hearts. It feels like they made me part of their family which has become our family at this point. I had a new father, Douglas, thanks to whom I didn't really get homesick and who always plays tennis with me, which I have since fallen in love with.
I only experienced tennis as a sport during my 5 months here and thanks to my coach and my teammates I improved a lot and I fell in love with the game. In addition to tennis, I've taken up singing. I'm so thankful for my new choir family with them we got to perform like real superstars, and we had some amazing and fun times. The most wonderful thing is all the friends I've made and who have always been there for me. We have done a lot of things like going to the homecoming which I really liked and had never done before. I am so grateful for my school, The Bloomer School, where I met a lot of incredible teachers who have always been kind to me and a principal who always says "Hi Awa!" or "Have a great day Awa!" and my teacher Ms. Jocelyn, who gives me a 30 second hug whenever I need it.
Thanks to all these great people my English has improved a lot and I have become a more open person. I really like to learn and understand American culture. I had to experienced Halloween and Christmas for the first time and it was just exceptional. I have really fallen in love with Wisconsin which is very beautiful especially with the trees and I had to experience the snow which is also one of my best experiences here. I found a second home here because home is not the place where we live but the place where the people we love are. So, thank you very much to all these wonderful people who make my year unique and thank you to those who continue to make my year the best!
I'm super lucky to have these incredible people and I'm very excited for the months to come!