Nanakuli High Exchange Student Comes to Visit – Olena Buriak

Sara Perry byline80Today we have a wonderful intern visiting us from the Ukraine – Olena Buriak (see the group photo below). She is part of a program of international high school students studying abroad for an entire academic school year. She is currently attending Nanakuli High School for her year abroad. The interns got to meet Governor Ige today, as well as sit in on a Senate (and House) floor session and be officially introduced to members of the Legislature. This wonderful program is called the Future Leaders Exchange.

The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program encourages long-lasting peace and understanding between the U.S. and the emerging democracies of the former Soviet Union. FLEX provides opportunities for high school students (ages 15-17) to spend a year in the United States, living with a volunteer family and attending an American high school. International Hospitality Center, founded in 1976, has been honored to receive U.S. Department of State Grantees on the high school level for the past 23 years.

A little bit about Olena: She is interested in pursuing a career in foreign languages and history. She enjoys ballroom dancing, skiing, skating, swimming, hiking, art. Her interests include: English and German Language Olympiads; Participated in an exchange program to Poland, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Olena hails from the Ukraine, lives her mother, their cat, and their dog. She has taken part in ballroom dancing since she was 5 years old. She aspires to continue her education at an American University. While in Hawaii, Olena has been active in sports at school, such as paddling and cross country, and will participate in the School Song Fest.


L-R: Christine West (Legislative Aide), Sara Perry (Committee Clerk), Tori McCann (Legislative Intern, UHWO), Olena Buriak (Student Intern from Ukraine), Sen. Shimabukuro, Colleen Teramae (Office Manager).

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