According to Harvard Business Review, English is the global language of business. After discovering this, FLEX alumna Valeriya Sotnikova ’19 (Karaganda, Kazakhstan/Las Vegas, NV) was inspired to organize a two-week online English camp for students from different parts of Kazakhstan to help them improve their English language skills, called “English Camp 2020”. Valeriya shares that, “I am a student and I know that it is challenging to learn a new language – the process can be tedious. Therefore, I wanted to create an exciting and interesting online program for children at varying English levels.”

To help her put on an impactful project, Valeriya turned to her friends and fellow FLEX alumni to volunteer as mentors for the camp.   Through her network she found 12 passionate and eager volunteers to help her organize the camp.  Together they developed an agenda, filled with engaging and fun activities aimed at improving the participants’ English. Valeriya and the other alumni put on the camp from August 3-16. Mentors held classes three times a week and Speaking Club meetings two times a week. Volunteer mentor Aruzhan Abeuova reflects on the camp, “It was a pleasure to work with a group of teenagers interested in learning and developing their English language skills. They are all very active, ambitious, and full of energy.”

“English Camp 2020” helped many children in Kazakhstan improve their English, with 50 students from across the country joining the event. Akzhunis Orazova, a participant of the camp, shared her gratitude for the event, “English Camp 2020 was the most exciting event of the summer for me! I did not think that learning English would be so much fun. I had English classes before, but they were not that interesting for me. Mentors from camp playfully explained the rules and they were very open, energetic, and kind. This was an excellent opportunity for a girl from a little town like me.” As a result of the camp, the participants improved their English and were given a step up when it comes to finding a career in international business.

Written by Anel Zhuvanizhbayeva ’18 (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan/Phoenix, AZ)