YES Programs



Thank You, New Lothrop High School

Article by Kristina Ilievska, Macedonia Alumna '13

A few days ago, I was looking through the YES Programs website and noticed a thank you letter from a Ghanaian exchange student to his American high school. That inspired me to write a thank you letter to my school. I sent it to my host mom, Jessica Andres, a Local Coordinator for AFS, just to hear her opinion and her comment was "Awesome!" She did me a favor, printed it and gave it to the school. A few days later, the principal, Mr. Anthony D. Berthiaume, thanked me for the “kind letter,” and my host mom told me, "I will try to publish this letter in the paper and I will show it to the kids coming in the fall." Can you imagine how flattered I felt? Flattered, honored, happy I made a change just by expressing my true feelings. I will continue making changes in this world, by making at least one person, in one day, feel loved! :)

Here is a copy of my letter:

Dear staff and students of New Lothrop High School,

I decided to write you a thank you letter in which I would show my gratitude towards the school that willingly welcomed me in their community. I am more than happy to say that I was chosen to be part of New Lothrop and its high school.

When I first came to the U.S., I felt afraid and didn’t have a clue how I would handle the American lifestyle and the American high school- you know, having lockers, changing classrooms and all that.

I remember my first day getting on the yellow bus, which I’d only ever seen on TV before then. I got in the school and thought, “Man this school is big! How will I find all the classrooms?” but one of students told me, “Don’t worry it’s a square and all you do is circle around it.” I had problems hitting the combination on my locker because I had never had one before and guess who was there to help me? Yes, another student!

The very next day I was late for class, because I couldn’t figure out which way to turn the map of the school. I was walking hopelessly and in a hurry down the hallway when a teacher noticed I was lost. He approached me with a caring smile and asking me where I was supposed to go. I told him. He pointed at the classroom and then guided me to it.

The caring smiles, the brightness in everyone’s eyes, the laughter in the hallways and in the classrooms made me feel at home. Throughout the year I learned new life skills, changed my perception of the world and my perception of how one school can work, very smoothly and organized. This school gave me more than I thought one school can give.

Now I am back in my home country, enriched with more life and academic knowledge. I will keep being a proud New Lothrop Hornet and will always carry the memories created in this school. Thank you, Mr. Berthiaume, for letting me be a part of your school and for being the best principal I’ve ever had.

Thank you LeAnn for answering all of my questions at any time and willingly helping me with any kind of favor I asked you for. Thank you Valerie for being so cheerful anytime you saw me in the hallway or in the cafeteria. Thank you Senora Bemis for being one of my favorite teachers, stay positive as you are, spread your knowledge through interesting activities and thank you for letting me teach my classmates about my country. Thank you Mrs. Thiel for being so kind and so full of positive attitude every day; keep going and pushing the students to go above and beyond, because you always believe in us, even when we didn’t.

Thank you to all the students that accepted me so easily and made me feel like I am part of their lives. I earned lifelong friends that I will do my best to keep in touch with at all times.

I hope I enriched your school as you enriched my heart. I am planning on continuing my studies in the U.S. and I will surely come to visit.

Thank you, to everyone who is a part of New Lothrop Area Public Schools.

Go Hornets!

Kristina Ilievska,

Macedonian Exchange Student</p>


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