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U.S. Department of State hosts 2013 SUSI student leaders

Culture Fair
SUSI leaders from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan in their traditional clothes during the culture fair in Washington, D.C.

Green River's Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Women's Leadership for student leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan concluded the program in Washington D.C. July 28, 2013.

Green River employees Barry Bannister, Vivette Beuster, Leana Hagen, Katie Gast, Fidaa Jabbouri, Gari Watkins, and Megan Walter accompanied the group to the closing ceremonies at the U.S. Department of State.

The SUSI program is part of a broader U.S. Department of State initiative designed to promote a better understanding of the U.S. abroad and to help develop future world leaders.

Upon arrival in DC, despite more than 30 hours en route due to a flight cancellation, the SUSI student leaders stole the show with a performance demonstrating what Green River and SUSI meant to them.

The students were highly praised by key administrators, the large audience at the US Department of State auditorium, and faculty from other programs for the thoughtfulness of their content and the professionalism of their delivery.

The newly-developed "Who I am/Who am I?" rubric, a longer retreat experience emphasizing the role of journaling and reflection, played a key theme in the presentation at the State Department.

Group hug
A big SUSI group hug before departing from Washington, D.C.

During the celebrations following the Culture Festival, there were lots of tears and hugs when the SUSI participants sang the farewell song they performed at the Green River farewell banquet. A member from the Boston SUSI delegation commented more than once on what a phenomenal group of young women Green River had been blessed with.

There is no doubt Green River has completed the most successful SUSI program to date, thanks to a most cooperative group who individually were all so warm, cooperative and affectionate to each other, to their host families, and to all Green River faculty and staff.