Today, we are putting the spotlight on a standout student who has been making the most of his exchange year, Khwezi from South Africa! Khwezi is living with the Erker family and studying in Colorado on a scholarship sponsored by the US Department of State’s Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program.
Khwezi smiles on the way to his first Homecoming dance
Khwezi came ready to take on challenges so he can learn how to inspire others, and willing to show “Ubuntu” to all he meets.
Khwezi and his host mom Susan
“Ubuntu” is a philosophy with a variety of meanings, but is often loosely defined as the spirit of openness and compassion toward others, and emphasizes the importance of interconnectedness. Seeing how Khwezi has wholeheartedly embraced every new person and experience that has come his way while in Colorado, we think he’s a perfect example of the “ubuntu” philosophy!
In just a few short months in the United States, Khwezi has had an abundance of fulfilling, challenging, and inspiring experiences. One of his proudest accomplishments so far has climbing Mt. Elden with other exchange student friends. He said he felt a deep sense of pride at the top and knew he could achieve any of his goals!
Khwezi has many goals for his exchange, including completing many volunteer hours, making friends and close connections with his host family, and gaining skills that will help him shape the future of South Africa. He plans to study engineering, create an agricultural business, and become a leader in solving the problem of high unemployment rates.
He has also been trying many new activities, including playing tennis for the first time! He was very proud to receive an award from his tennis team and plans to continue playing even when he returns.
When asked what advice he would have for other students considering an exchange experience, he enthusiastically said, “This is the best opportunity to get to know yourself and others. It adds positive value and will enrich your life and change you forever.”
Khwezi proudly representing his home away from home, Colorado
We can’t wait to see what else Khwezi gets to experience during his exchange year, and know he will be going on to great things in his future!
Do you know a standout student that you would like to see featured? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.