Part of the Family

August 15, 2012

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Binazir Mizrobova on the rooftop of the Newseum Binazir Mizrobova on the rooftop of the Newseum
When Binazir Mizrobova learned she was a finalist for the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program she knew something different and special was going to happen over the year. But she never imagined the "something special" would be to become the twelfth member of her host family!

Binazir is an only child, so when she first met her eight host siblings and the private exchange student who was living with her host family for the year, she thought she would never fit into a family so different from her own. To her surprise, she quickly became a member of the family. She now thinks "it will be a little bit difficult to go back to being an only child. It is never quiet in the house, which is really good, because you never get bored."

Binazir and her host family are very active in the community. Binazir has been described as a "volunteering fanatic." Within the first semester of arriving to her host community, she completed 109 community service hours.

Binazir "loves to meet new people, offer them help, and learn new things." She joined the drama club, the soccer team, and basketball team, and even performed a Russian dance with her host sister at the school's talent show. Binazir volunteers at the local hospital, in her host parent's church library, and at the local soup kitchen. Along with her host sister, she coaches her younger host sister‘s soccer team.

In March, Binazir traveled to Washington, DC to participate in a Civic Education Workshop.

"This year has been one of the best years of my life," says Binazir. "It has not been perfect and was sometimes difficult, but it helped to know I could always talk to my host family. I learned you can't be understood if you don't express yourself or ask for help when you need it."

When asked about her proudest moment with the FLEX program, Binazir answered, "It was when my host mother told me I was a good host daughter and she felt like I have always been a part of the family." Binazir thinks new FLEX students should "Be open-minded, [and] don't be scared of new and different things [because] they can turn out to be great!"