November YES Student of the Month, Putu Kartini (YES 2018-2019, Indonesia, hosted by PAX in St. George, UT), known as “Dea,” has actively shared her Indonesian culture and her considerable talents in St. George, Utah since her arrival. In August, she looked for an opportunity to celebrate Indonesian Independence Day, and when she found nothing local, she created her own! She took her flag to her host school, Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts, taught her new friends to say "Happy Indonesian Independence Day" in her native language, and made a video of her celebration all around the school. She celebrated National Batik Day by wearing Indonesian batik clothes. She performed Indonesian dances for a school talent show and for her school’s Cultural Diversity Night. Dea has been asked to perform at the Miss Dixie State University program and plans to try out for the local "Dixie's Got Talent" contest in her host community. She is also a finalist in the “PAX’S GOT TALENT” competition based on her artwork and dance performance.
With an eight-member host family, Dea helps out and shares her culture at home by cooking a meal every Monday night. Although she had limited culinary skills before she arrived in the United States, she now seeks out her national recipes and ingredients to make delicious meals for her family.
At Tuacahn High School, Dea takes dance, art, painting, and design classes as electives alongside her core academic subjects. For a fashion design assignment, Dea used the concept of “iconic buildings of Indonesia” for her pieces, to introduce her country in a fresh way. She will also participate with her classmates in a fashion show of designs created from recyclable items, to be held at a local art museum.
Despite her very full schedule, Dea is receiving all A's and still finds time to volunteer. She has already completed 50 volunteer service hours at the local hospital, family support center, and children’s museum, where she led a Halloween story time and craft project. In October, Dea and her exchange student cluster volunteered at the finish line of the St. George Marathon and completed the Mayor’s Walk. She is also the project leader for an upcoming Christmas service project with a local charity called Coins for Kids, where her cluster will "adopt" a family, raise funds, shop for gifts, and wrap and deliver the gifts to the family.
Dea is an outgoing, cheerful girl who loves her country, is always willing to teach others about Indonesia, and is embracing her YES year in the United States
Click here to see more of Dea’s artwork and videos.