South Brunswick, NJ: Maadhavan Gopikrishnan, a South Brunswick High School sophomore, is one of approximately 20 students selected from across the United States to participate in the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Abroad program. The 15-year-old will receive the competitive merit-based scholarship funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study in Poland for the 2023 – 2024 academic year.
The scholarship covers the full cost of an academic year abroad, providing Maadhavan the chance to participate in an academic and cultural immersion experience, including living with a host family and attending a local high school in Poland.
By participating in the program, Maadhavan will develop leadership skills, find new ways for America to compete effectively in the global marketplace, and contribute to a more peaceful world. Maadhavan will be at the forefront of citizen diplomacy, serving as a “youth ambassador” in Poland. He will gain an understanding of shared global interests and values while enhancing cross-cultural understanding, deepening trust through relationships with his host family and peers, and engaging in volunteer service and leadership training to help his host community.
The FLEX program was launched in 1993 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, established as part of the FREEDOM Support Act in 1992 and based on former Senator Bill Bradley’s belief that the best way to achieve mutual understanding and peace is to bring young people closer to each other. The FLEX program strengthens ties between the people of the United States and Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia. In 2023 – 2024, the program provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to attend a local school in Georgia, Kazakhstan, or Poland for an academic year. FLEX Abroad will promote the development of respectful and enduring relationships between Americans and citizens of other countries, while giving participants new perspectives on American culture from the vantage point of living overseas.