Anna Voronina of Kyrgyzstan was born with an innate curiosity that fueled her love of exploring and learning. With hopes of bettering her home country, Anna was happy to hear of her acceptance into the Community Solutions Program.
“I love learning,” says Anna. “Learning from books; learning from other people's experience; and learning from day-to-day work. That is why I applied for the Community Solutions Program. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to learn and it was.”
Anna was determined to put the skills she learned during her internship to work when she returned home.
“I worked with the Youth Chamber of Commerce under the supervision of the COO and CEO of the Raleigh Business and Technology Center,” explains Anna. “Everyday was new and different and I had the opportunity to learn new technology tools and take online classes-- many of which were a real discovery for me. While working on the Workforce Development Project, we managed to create a sustainable means of work that got dozens of young people employed at the local solar panel company.”
Anna was enjoying her new work family, the state of North Carolina, and the new technology tools she was learning everyday; but she did experience some challenges along the way.
“I did not expect that at some point in the program that I would get very homesick,” says Anna. “Besides the attacks of homesickness, I found other things challenging like finding an apartment and figuring out public transportation. But I think challenges make life spicy and fun.”
When asked if there’s one thing she would change about her experience, Anna quickly replied “No.”
“One thing I had never done and always dreamt about was to swim in the ocean—or the big O as I call it,” explains Anna. “I got to do that during the program and it was a wonderful experience. I love the never ending flow of energy and how nothing stays the same.”
“My experience inspired me to start an online platform to provide knowledge to young people through the Internet-- which is quite new for my country,” says Anna.
“I learned so much from my program. I learned to be more organized in terms of time management because the life pace in the States is faster in general. And I learned to think and act more independently. But most importantly, I learned that there are so many people coming from different cultures and countries who share and promote the same values such as human rights, transparency, and equal opportunities for education. Knowing this gives me energy.”