Terri from New York has been an AYA Local Coordinator since 2011. Terri is always encouraging her students to live out their dreams during their stay in the U.S. Hear from her how supporting Abrar from Pakistan has given him the chance to accomplish his dream of coming to the U.S. and how rewarding it is for Terri to see him grow.
Abrar arrived in the U.S. with a fierce desire to be involved, give back and appreciate this exchange experience. He has done all three.
When registering for classes, he chose the International Baccalaureate track because it included opportunities for community service and educating his peers. He was so excited to learn that his American high school had a Drama club and a Key club. I witnessed the “wheels turning” in his mind, calculating how he would manage it all. Now I know that many exchange students have high hopes when they arrive, but Abrar continues to realize his dreams.
Right at the start, he auditioned and earned a role in the play, “The Producers.” Many other international AYA students from our group attended the production in November. His performance was spot on. I couldn’t help but observe how much respect he had earned from his peers and the adults helping with the production. I knew he was setting the example needed to break down barriers and open minds.
Now, if you need help with a community service event, Abrar will move mountains to attend. He arrives early and doesn’t leave until the last task is completed. He has actively sought out service opportunities on his own, establishing himself as a reliable person for these types of events. Several people in the community have commented on his willingness to help out. For fun, he often breaks into song, and we all attempt to sing along. Can you imagine what this does for weary spirits? His energy and kindness are contagious, and he would have to be my greatest role model for our group of exchange students.
Abrar sees things with a keen sense of observation and an alert mind. He was placed with a family with two small boys who simply adore him. He has the ability to tune into his younger host brothers’ needs, a skill that is often lacking in teenagers. The joy on their faces when they see their older brother “Brar” is so endearing. His tenderness is genuine, and I know his host parents are grateful.
The thing that makes Abrar worthy of this recognition is not in the big things…it’s in all the little things he does each day to add up to such an awesome Ambassador. I hope that Abrar stays active with the alumni program and helps our partners in Pakistan recruit and prepare future exchange students. He knows the effort it takes, and he appreciates the opportunities.
I am so thankful I have had the chance to be his Local Coordinator!
Thanks Terri for sharing this inspirational story about how you witnessed your student grow to realize his dreams. Are you interested in impacting the lives of exchange students? Learn more about becoming an AYA Local Coordinator, here. Do you have a similar story to share? Click here!