Marina Buciuc will represent Moldova at the the FLEX Civic Education Week in Washington, D.C
January , 21 2013
Marina Buciuc has been nominated as an outstanding representative of the Moldova FLEX alumni community and will represent our Eurasia-wide FLEX Alumni Program of American Councils for International Education at the FLEX Civic Education Week in Washington, D.C. March 17-23, 2013. Marina impressed by her active community service involvment, as well as her academic achievements as a Global Undergraduate Exchange program participant in Minnesota. She would do a fantastic job of motivating FLEX students by sharing her experiences as alumna. In DC, Marina will meet representatives from State Department as well as Congressional representatives to talk about the value and impact of the FLEX program in Moldova.
Approximately 100 current FLEX exchange students have been competitively selected to spend one week in Washington. Through lectures, discussions, site visits and a day on Capital Hill, they will learn about Americans' efforts to uphold the nation's democratic principles. They will learn about how civil society has developed and operates today in the U.S. Your role as an outstanding FLEX alumna will be to share with these students details of your life after the FLEX program, encouraging them to see that their FLEX experience doesn't need to end when they return home. You have done so many outstanding things since your FLEX year, and we are certain that you will inspire these students in many ways.
Marina will have opportunities to help them develop ideas for projects and activities which can build on the experiences they have had in the United States. During the week in Washington, American Councils will also ask Marina to represent our program to State Department officials as well as Congressional representatives and their staff.
"I am currently half through medical school at State Medical and Pharmaceutical University "Nicolae Testemitanu", Flex'07 and Global UGRAD'12 alumna, and now have been nominated to represent Moldova at the FLEX Civic Education Week in Washington, D.C in March, 2013. After my amazing year in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, I wouldn't say I became active right away since I missed my re-entry seminar and wasn't aware of alumni activities. By mere chance, I came along to a clean up event with my fellow FLEX friend almost a year later and since then got involved in all kinds of projects cooperating with fellow FLEX alumni, alumni of other foreign exchange programs and active local youth. I started off as a logistic assistant at EFL summer camp for FLEX finalists with physical challenges and/or poor English knowledge together with amazing team of Natalia Andreev, Andrei Cusnir and Ecaterina Rusnac, all FLEX'07 alumni as well as me. This experience influenced on my decision to apply for Medical School. For four years in a row now I volunteer as a mentor for EFL kids, a tradition I tend to keep.
In 2009 I got the chance to share my experience as a Teaching Assistant at Pre-Departural Orientation for FLEX finalists. I took part in many projects as a volunteer or co-organizer, but projects concerning socially vulnerable people are closer to my heart. I volunteered as a drama club coordinator for a summer camp "Change" for orphans from Balti and Soroca, carried on with getting involved in 6 month long "Best Buddies" project for orphans organized by Global UGRAD alumni. Moving on, together with Andrei Cusnir we volunteered for half a year as English teachers for "Speranta" day center for physically challenged children. Completely different experience was being a project coordinator for "Marathon To Bring Awareness Against Domestic Violence" held in July 2010. The message was sent by 100+ people running / walking for the cause, local media and local authorities as well as was provided information about organizations and hot lines for the victims. Again, this project would have been impossible if not for a great team of FLEX and UGRAD alumni, our alumni coordinator at that moment, Cristina Poleacovschi, active students and Peace Corps Volunteer, Casey Mock.
I got a chance to spend academic year 2011 -2012 in Minnesota State University, Mankato, being Global UGRAD finalist, IREX. I got to major in Biomedical Science and intern at The Arc of Minnesota Southwest, an NGO which fights for a brighter future for people with mental and developmental disabilities. This experience erased the word "disability" from my vocabulary, since there is no limit to human abilities whether you are physically and/or mentally challenged.
My FLEX experience helped me to grow up and grow as a personality. It for sure made W.E. Hickson's proverb "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again" pretty much my life motto, which so far never failed. Besides giving me a family and life-long friends, FLEX taught me that a country can be strong only if it is strong from within, that only because of thousands of "Kewaunees" where people stand back to back, support each other, respect the rights, give a chance to shine regardless physical, mental abilities, race or social status, open their houses and hearts to foreigners it is so mighty. I'm sure there is a "dark" side that I haven't seen, but that's the good that I'm trying to bring to Moldova and reflect in the project I take part in."