The American Dream

Mariah Grant, Photo Editor

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EF Foreign Exchange Year 2017-2018


Education First is a company that has many programs that allow for students to go on exchanges to different countries, to learn and grow in new cultures.

The Villages Charter School has a new student, who is unlike the rest. Her name is Lena Miessmer and she is a foreign exchange student from Germany. Lena is part of Education First known as EF, an organization that helps students from other countries, and continents are able to come to the United States in order to live an American styled life. EF students live with their host families for either one semester or a year. Lena lives with Robin, Manisha, and Mariah Grant.

Lena has been at school now since the week of homecoming and will continue here to finish out the rest of the year. She was on the JV girls soccer team and scored a total of 8 goals throughout the season.


“I have never played soccer on a team before, so it’s a new experience for me but I have really enjoyed it, and I really like playing with my team,” said Lena.

Even though she has never played on an actual soccer team, she has always been a fan and enjoyed the sport. Her and her family like to watch soccer and play together back in Germany.

So playing on a team here at school is a lot of fun for her, and makes her experience here at VHS more memorable.

“The Villages campus is really nice, and it is really open and I like that about the school.”, said Lena.


Lena is enjoying herself here at VHS and feels comfortable in our schools’ atmosphere and with the students who attend here. Our students here at VHS have really given Lena a Buffalo warm welcome. People around the school such as Mr. Grant Vice Principal here at VHS [also her host parent]  has many encouraging things to say about Lena and attendance here at our school.

“She is a nice kid, she is a good student, she is on the soccer team, the JV soccer team, uh scored a lot of goals, uh and I know she is well liked by both her peers and her teachers, I’d say that that is an asset in my book,” said Mr. Grant Vice

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This is the German flag, a representation of Lena’s home country.

Lena will continue the rest of the school year here at VHS, as a junior, only to go back to her homeschool in Germany where she will have to repeat this year again. Lena knows and accepts the fact that this year will not count towards her schooling because instead, she gets to truly live the American dream and experience things her German peers cannot.


       We wish Lena the best throughout the rest of her exchange year!