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Green River hosts 2013 SUSI farewell banquet

2013 SUSI Scholars
SUSI scholars pose outside after the conclusion of the banquet.

After an intense five-week crash course on American culture, women's issues and leadership skills, Green River's 24 SUSI scholars finally headed back home.

Amidst laughter and tears, Green River bid farewell to this year's scholars at the July 18 SUSI farewell banquet. This event concludes this year's Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars program.

Hosted in the main dining area of the Lindbloom Student Center, the scholars joined their host families, mentors and teachers for a buffet dinner and a short program.

After dinner, Director of Extended Learning and coordinator of the SUSI program Vivette Beuster delivered a sincere thank you to the scholars and the SUSI staff. President Ely and Vice President of International Programs Ross Jennings also spoke to the students and guests.

The scholars then presented a series of dances, songs and acts that represented each of their five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Scholars and Vivette
Vivette Beuster with two SUSI scholars.

"I came here because I wanted to find out about women's issues and learn how to become a worldwide leader," said scholar Djamiliya Akhmedova. "What I learned was how to love others and how to be loved." Djamiliya is 19 years old and comes from Uzbekistan.

The emotionally charged event showcased the relationships that had developed between the students and their American advisors. The sincere hugs and emotional tears shared by SUSI leaders and their scholars demonstrated deep, affectionate bonds. The SUSI scholars were no longer classmates - they had formed a genuine sisterhood.