The primary goal of the FLEX high school exchange program is to improve mutual understanding and develop long-term relationships between the American and Azerbaijani people.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Robert F. Cekuta emphasized the FLEX program’s positive impact in Azerbaijan over the last quarter century, and the contributions FLEX alumni have made on Azerbaijani society. Director of American Councils in Azerbaijan Jodi Blankenship and several FLEX alumni then shared reflections on the impact the program has had on Azerbaijan and their lives. An alumnus from 1993 spoke about how participation in the program opened his eyes to a new, global perspective after years in Soviet schools and society.
Begun in 1993, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the U.S. Department of State. FLEX students pass multiple rounds of testing to earn a scholarship to spend an academic year in the United States living with a volunteer host family and attending a U.S. high school. Through the exchange year, they gain leadership skills, learn about American society and values, and teach Americans about Azerbaijan and its culture. Azerbaijan has nearly 1000 FLEX alumni, many of whom are now leaders in their fields, making important contributions to building a strong future for Azerbaijan.
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