Grade 11 student, Lyka Crebilio flies to Ohio USA to study there for a year. Lyka will be completing her grade 11 studies at Winterwoods High School from September to July next year.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is afforded through the support of AFS’s – Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange Study (YES) Program.
How did Lyka embark on her journey to USA? Each year in July, PNSB encourages them to enjoin their students to apply to the YES Program. Upon the submission of duly filled out application forms. Chosen candidates would undergo a series of intercultural learning activities that aims to develop them holistically. This includes leadership building, English communication, and social skills, among others. In addition, applicants also undergo a series of interviews and medical tests ensuring that they are physically healthy upon entering USA. Finally, AFS candidates for the YES program undergo a Comprehensive English Examination to ensure that they have proficient command of the English language.
When all requirements are met, AFS will take care of all the student’s needsthe including school, residence, and the family who will take good care of the student for a year.
Lyka is home to couples who have visual impairment themselves. She is very active and busy in her studies and at the same time, engaged in several visually impaired related activities.
When asked about her exchange program experience, she said: “It a long journey to be accepted in this program (Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study) Program. As I walk through this path, I realized how blessed I am and how I should be grateful for this opportunity. So far I have tried rowing, gone to the recreational center where we play goal ball, I’m also a choir member where we perform concerts, and I’m also part of an international club.
Of course, one of my highlights for this month, as I have had tried skiing; one of the things people would think that visually impaired cannot do. Then last October, I am very thankful to go to Columbus (the capital of Ohio) to attend state convention of National Federation of the Blind (NFB) where I had so much fun and overloaded with valuable knowledge whereas I also became one of the board members for the student division. Although this program is not yet finished, I know I will have productive and enjoyable moments for the rest of my year.”