By Tahrima Hug

Tahrima, a student at Scholastica in Dhaka, Bangladesh, participated in the AYLP 2011-12, through which she worked closely with both Bangladeshi peers and 30 American students. In addition to Tahrima’s involvement with World Savvy, her family hosted one of her American partner students throughout the program.Tahrima is starting to look at different options for college, primarily in the U.S., and is interested in studying some combination of biochemistry and literature.

In the summer of 2014, I had the privilege of participating in an internship program at a unique school called "Beautiful Mind" for about three months. The reason that this school is so different from most educational institutions is that it is a "center for autistic and mentally challenged children". The students in the class to which I was assigned ranged in age from 7-15, and, although they communicated mostly non-verbally, they were not in any way less expressive than anyone else I know.

It wasn't just the experience of working alongside incredibly caring and innovative teachers that made the program absolutely unforgettable for me, but also the day-to-day interactions I had with the gifted children in my class. Every day, they surprised me by displaying talents that I had no idea they possessed, and getting to know and understand both them and kids from other classes was the best part of my summer. I enjoyed every single day of it.

I still visit my students as often as I can, because if I don't go over for a long time, I begin missing them beyond words. I learned last summer that the experiences worth having are the ones that stay with you, and the ones you hold onto. I am so thankful to have had that experience and been part of that community.