Each month the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) selects a YES (Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study) student of the month. Academic Year in America has been sponsoring students through the YES program for over 10 years and is very proud to have had their student Bilal selected by the ECA this past October for the YES Student of the Month. Bilal is from Pakistan and spent his academic year in Rossville, KS hosted by the Spring Family.
The ECA had this to say about Bilal:
“I’m your very own Bilal Channa, and this is Dawgfeed!” So begins the weekly news broadcast of Rossville Junior and Senior High School, anchored by our very own October YES Student of the Month.
Bilal, who hails from Hyderabad, Pakistan, has already made a huge impact in his host school and community in his short time in Rossville, KS. In addition to anchoring the news program, Bilal helps shoot video and writes the script for news clips, working together with his schoolmates in the video production club. Bilal is also the school’s mascot for Friday Night Football games, a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, and a participant in Scholars’ Bowl.
The Rossville High School principal commented on Bilal’s eagerness to educate his peers about Pakistan, and one of his teachers noted his contagious enthusiasm and his desire to learn and help his fellow students. “Bilal epitomizes the term ‘getting involved.’ I think his attitude is starting to rub off on our students,” wrote the teacher.
Bilal’s host mother, Julie Spring, appreciates his “big heart” and service to others. In just a couple of months, Bilal has completed more than 40 hours of community service. Drawing on his passion for teaching, he volunteers daily at a local daycare. He has earned praise and gratitude for helping to motivate a third-grader whom he tutors several times per week. AIFS Local Coordinator Kelly Brown writes that she is grateful that Bilal was able to come to Kansas and share his enthusiasm.
A sample “Dawgfeed” news show illustrates Bilal’s energy and dry wit:
Congratulations to Bilal for sharing the YES spirit and having a great time in the process!
Learn more about Academic Year in America and the YES program here. Are you interested in hosting a YES student this year? Learn more about becoming an AYA host family, here. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to read more stories about our YES students.