On June 19, 2013, American Councils and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced eight winners of the 12th annual “Faces of FLEX” photo and video contest.  Natia Sirdadze ‘08 of Georgia and Olga Fisakova ‘09 of Russia took first place in the photo and video categories, the prize for which is an iPad2.

The winning photo features FLEX alumni releasing into the air a paper lantern in memory of the 9/11 tragedy, one decade later.

The first place video highlights the “I volunteer” FLEX Grants project, which involved orphans in a community service initiative for a St. Petersburg nursing home.


Other winners included the photo “Cancer Center,” by Yrys Abdieva ‘12 of Kyrgyzstan (II place).

The video “We Can Change the World,” by Asylgul Kenzhebaeva ‘11 of Kyrgyzstan (II place).


The photo “Making Children Smile,” by Nicu Gaibu ‘12 of Molodva (III place).


The photo “Dashoguz Children Learn New Things with Alisa Ilyasova,” by Aknur Saparova ‘12 of Turkmenistan (Honorable Mention).

The photo “The Victory Day,” by Alexey Philippov ‘11 of Russia (Alumni Choice Award).

The video “We Can Make It Happen…,” by Asylgul Kenzhebaeva ‘11 of Kyrgyzstan (Alumni Choice Award).

These winners were selected from 190 submissions. Additional contests in celebration of the FLEX Program’s 20th Anniversary will continue throughout the summer, including the “Share Your FLEX Story” audio and video clip competitions. FLEX alumni, FLEX participants, host families, Placement Organizations and other friends of the program are all welcome to participate!  Visit the following website for more details.