Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 FLEX Alumni Photo/Video Contest! The FLEX Alumni Photo & Video Contest is an annual competition that encourages FLEX alumni to highlight their alumni experiences. This year, the competition had five categories:

  1. Leading and Learning
  2. Unforgettable Moments
  3. Friendship and Community
  4. Videos, Reels, Shorts

A team of judges from the U.S Department of State Bureau and Educational and Cultural Affairs reviewed all the submissions and chose two winners for each category, first and second place.

Thank you to all who submitted, and congratulations once again to our winners!

Leading and Learning 

First Place: “Experimenting Emotions”

This is the third year we are implementing Jailoo Camp for kids who live in pasture with their families during the summer break. Unlike last years’ camp, this one was dedicated to mental health, critical thinking, and team building. All the skills and information we taught kids, we ourselves learned from FLEX Ability workshops. We believe in the power of education, and we believe that while their peers are enjoying the break, these kids who work as equally as their parents in pasture, face so many mental and physical challenges, yet they can make so many great things in the future. We hope they will share everything they learn from camp with their peers at school. We strongly believe that these kids will continue the chain of sharing kindness and knowledge. – Albina Taalaibek

Runner-Up: “Empowering Through Sisterly Love”

The empowering educational project Girls for Girls has transformed numerous girls from silence to strength, from doubt to determination, from insecurity to self-assurance. They discovered their voices and their missions. They broke through barriers, not just of their own making, but those imposed by society. Our girls learned about their rights, the importance of personal development, and how to create and bravely pursue their dreams and goals. This project has a far-reaching effect because the empowered young ladies passed their knowledge to friends and acquaintances, sparking a domino effect of empowerment and SISTERHOOD that we have created in our big, safe, warm, friendly and supportive community all over Kyrgyzstan throughout two years of educational programs. This picture represents our infinite love and support to every girl in this world! – Nuraiym Nurgazieva

Unforgettable Moments

First Place: “A Halloween Party”

This photo captured an unforgettable moment that I shared with more than 50 elementary school kids. I organized this event at the American Corner in Podgorica, with the help from wonderful people that work there. The kids got a chance to learn more about American traditions and culture through songs, dancing, and games. They also expanded their vocabulary and knowledge by playing “trick or treat”! We had to get creative with the space that we had, so we decided to decorate two office doors, and we went for the Addams Family theme. Kids were really excited when they got their candy and I’m very grateful that I got the chance to make Halloween happen for them, even if we don’t celebrate it in Montenegro. I’m looking forward to organizing more interactive workshops like this in the future! – Bojana Sukovic

Runner-Up: “An Unforgettable Trip to Nisa”

A trip to Old Nisa – an ancient royal residence of the Parthian kings 22 centuries ago. Structures of this place are full of secrets which are still being discovered. By discovering this city together with FLEX Alumni Turkmenistan, we have created unforgettable memories full of exciting moments. – Shanaz Bayramdurdyyeva

Friendship & Community

Frist Place: “Cross-border Friendship”

This photo captures a unique project organized by two alumni from Moldova and Ukraine for helping refugees in the Netherlands. We had fun making friends with people from different countries. – Alexandru-Vlad Murzac

Runner-Up: “Kindred Spirits” 

My life was separated into two distinct periods, before FLEX and after FLEX, to paraphrase a statement from one of the books that I love. Although it may sound implausible or even absurd, that is the reality of what I cannot escape, and I am incredibly grateful for it. FLEX provided me with the closest friendships from different countries and the most supportive community I could have ever hoped for. These people were by my side throughout the ups and downs of my year and were constantly there to support, mentor, and inspire me. I can’t picture my life without them. They have provided me with a solid network of support, a sense of belonging in both easy and challenging times, and a wealth of priceless memories. The incredible alumni community also gave me chances for personal development and exposed me to various viewpoints, improving my life in many ways. – Ofelya Sargsyan


Frist Place: “FLEX is More Than a Community, FLEX is Family”

Watch here!

In my video I gathered and edited all the memorable events and moments I had collected having become a FLEX alumni. These people in the video are my best friends, my support, and my family. I am forever thankful to the FLEX program for the opportunity to meet all these amazing people. – Asel Azimkanova

Runner-Up: “F-L-E-X FRIENDS”

Alumni community is place where you can find your family, just like Friends! We may not be related, but our love for each other beats everything. This is us, after doing presentation at American Councils office, having fun with our amazing Alumni Coordinator! That’s what it’s all about. Doing work but also keeping your and everyone else’s spirits up! – Nino Maisuradze

Congratulations to all the winners!

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