About the Author: Michelle E. Neyland services as ExchangesConnect Network Administrator.
Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) 2008-2009 alumnus Giorgi Maghlakelidze, from the Republic of Georgia, was recently announced as the winner of the Mascot Challenge on the ExchangesConnect website. ExchangesConnect, an international social networking site managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, recently challenged its members to design a mascot that represents its mission of cross-cultural dialogue and international exchange. Designs were submitted from all over the world.
Maghlakelidze designed iDrop with the idea that it represents each one of us. Just as drops of water collect to form streams, waterfalls, and large oceans, Maghlakelidze used the image of a drop to symbolize how we, as people, can increase our own strength by connecting with others across the globe.
“Even though we might be from different parts of the world, we are the same,” Maghlakelidze said, “We have immense, world-changing power within us, but especially when we unite.”
Maghlakelidze participated in a FLEX program in California. FLEX students spend a year in the United States living with a host family and attending an American high school. Maghlakelidze described the FLEX program as “nothing else I've experienced my entire life. It was a magical, mind-changing, best-friend-making, life-teaching, extremely-interesting, rich-experience-giving year. Never before have I experienced such magnificent adventures, learned so much about other country and people, and myself. My life has changed, and so have I.”
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