Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 FLEX Alumni Photo/Video Contest!  Annually, the FLEX Alumni program invites FLEX alumni to submit photos and videos that they have taken during alumni activities, workshops, and events with the chance to win prizes! After three weeks of receiving and reviewing some exemplary photos and videos with stories defining them. You can view all the submissions for this year’s competition here. The four photo/video submissions that best highlighted the goals of the FLEX Alumni program were chosen by a team of judges from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. We also announced the Alumni Choice Award for that photo or video that received the most likes on our FLEX Alumni Facebook page (as of midnight August 5, 2019). You can like and follow our Facebook page here for exciting updates about FLEX Alumni Program.

Here are the winning submissions:

1) Best Picture Award: “With Hands We Clean”, This picture was taken by Alisher Abdulloev during the Clean-up City project organized alumni Dilorom Samadova ‘19, Sherzod Isaev ‘19 and Alisher Abdulloev ‘19. The team involved more than 20 volunteers including ACCESS Program students from Isfara, Tajikistan and some FLEX program finalists!  Everyone filled a few bags of trash from the banks of the Isfara River. Let’s Clean the Earth together!  Submission from Alisher Abdulloev ‘19 (Isfara, Tajikistan / Adel, Iowa)

2) Second Best Picture Award: “Your skills are only valuable if you share them with others”, FLEX Alumni organized a free English Workshop for children, to celebrate Global Youth Service Day! The theme of the workshop was: Act for the ENVIRONMENT! Children learned how our daily actions impact our environment.  The workshop included crafts, presentations, and practical examples to take the lessons home.  Both the alumni and the participants had a lot of fun.
Submission by Catalina Turcanu ’13 (Chisinau, Moldova / Auburn, Maine)

3) Best Video Award: “Youth Empowerment Darpas” The program was about collecting and distributing donated clothes to people in need in Darpas, an Armenian village. After sorting the clothes and giving them to the families, alumni organized a three-day workshop for children in the village, ages 8-15.   The workshop touched on the topics of leadership, volunteering, problem-solving, and presentation skills. The kids performed a short skit based on what they learned, played games, and added a few new English words to their vocabulary. The best result of the workshop was seeing their mesmerizing eyes full of excitement.  The children were continuously eager to learn new things and words in English.
Submission by Ruzanna Hakobyan ’19 (Yerevan, Armenia / Monroe, Louisiana)

4) Honorable Mention Award: “We Celebrate!” The picture shows alumni having a great time together celebrating Independence Day! The game we are playing is to point the correct position of the any states of the USA, while we blindfolded and get some help from teammates.”
Submission by Tsogtbileg Munkhjargal ‘19 (Choibalsan, Mongolia / Colorado Springs, Colorado)

5) Alumni Choice Award: “Future FLEXers” Alumnus Stefan Popa ’17 greets a toddler at the local cultural festival with a blue FLEX balloon. Alumni Dorotheea Arustei ’17 and Stefan Popa ’17 were at the youth festival in Roman, Romania to promote the FLEX Program to high school students but jumped at the chance to share it with the younger generations and make them smile with a blue FLEX balloon.
Submission by Dorotheea Arustei ’17 (Iasi, Romania/ Castle Rock, Colorado).