By Marina Esanu, CCI Greenheart Exchange Student and Greenheart Club member

Marina is an exchange student from Moldova who has been placed in New York. She is a member of the Greenheart Club and has volunteered over 300 hours. On behalf of the Greenheart Club we congratulate her on her hard work and dedication!

My name is Marina Esanu and I am from the Republic of Moldova. I would like to say thank you to both my program, Flex, and my placement organization, CCI Greenheart, for giving me such an awesome opportunity by bringing me to the United States, helping me adjust to this new experience, and making sure that I enjoy my time in New York.

As I have spent more time here, I have learned more about American society, beliefs, and ways of life, which are so different from my own country. I adapted to a lot of things that are different and maybe, in some ways, better. I like it here. A lot of friendly and honest people are glad to talk to me even if I don’t know them and just met them at the store. Being open-minded and respectable are main characteristics of American people that I have observed.

Every day here is like a dream turned into reality. Being an exchange student, there are a lot of opportunities to get involved in things that are really unforgettable. I was very honored when, in November, I had the chance to meet the local Assemblyman Will Barclay. He is a very pleasant man and he was open to any questions. I was very surprised when he told me that he had met other people from my country before.

Through my community service work, I met a lot of people from my host town. I also used to volunteer in my home country so I knew the importance of volunteering. When I came to the United States I started doing volunteer work as soon as I was able. I often go to the library or concession stand to volunteer. My favorite volunteering hours were at a Halloween party. If you were to tell me before that I would volunteer at a barbecue for 12 hours, I would probably think that you were joking. But that’s what I actually did last week, and it was a lot a of fun. My goal used to be to do 100 hours of volunteer service, but now I want to beat my country’s record and do 500 hours.

I’m  always doing my best to prove that I do have potential and that I deserve to be a future leader.