We are pleased to announce Charissa Audrey Pradana from Indonesia as the October YES Student of the Month! Audrey is placed by Program of Academic Exchange (PAX) in DeQueen, AR, where she attends DeQueen High School.
From the moment she arrived, Audrey has had a smile on her face and has eagerly joined in her host family’s activities. Even though she has only been in the United States for a month, Audrey has been busy volunteering, making new friends, and signing up for clubs at school.
Audrey didn’t have to wait long to jump into American life, as the county fair in her host community took place during her first week in the United States. Although slightly jet-lagged, Audrey helped her host brother prepare his show animals, volunteered at the ticketing gate, and even submitted some art pieces in a competition, one of which won first place! At the ticketing gate, Audrey was the perfect volunteer to welcome visitors due to her quick math skills and cheerful attitude.
At home, Audrey has been sharing her Indonesian culture by cooking nasi goreng (fried rice) and rawon (beef stew) for her family and friends. Audrey says, “It’s small but I tried to show my gratitude by giving my host family a lot of gifts from Indonesia.”
At school, Audrey is taking classes such as physics and calculus to help her pursue her dream of a STEM-related career. Audrey is not sure what she wants to do as a profession but says that it will be related to computers or engineering. Audrey adds, “I love school! My favorite class is probably engineering. In the class, we get to make a lot of things such as a model of a house. I spent 3 nights making my house and I got a 98 for it.” Audrey has also joined a number of school clubs—Quiz Bowl, Spanish club, Technology Student Association, and Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)—a student-led organization in which she is hoping to run for a leadership role.
Audrey is eager to share her culture and exchange student experiences and has a YouTube channel where she uploads videos about the YES program and her life. Audrey said, “My days have been so full of activities, and I just really want to share with everybody about Indonesia and where I come from. I feel like I have tried my best from the start and will continue to do my best until the day I go back home.”
Audrey has embraced her role as a citizen ambassador and a representative of Indonesia and the YES program. Congratulations, Audrey!