Photo Essay: Students from the New Independent States during their Civic Education Program, Washington, D.C., culminating their one-year academic exchange at American high schools nationwide.

Students role-play aspects of the American political process--holding a convention, campaigning, electing leaders, and recreating a Congressional session. The "new legislators" drafted bills, shepharded them committees of the "House" and "Senate," and sent them on to the "President" for action.

Students draft legislation

Listening to fellow students' campaign speeches.

FLEX students vote on a bill they drafted in a mock legislative session of Congress.

Meeting an American legislator: A Visit with Senator Robert F. Bennett

Students listen during their meeting with Senator Bennett.

Russian student Ekaterina Baranova (hosted by an American family in Bountiful, Utah), greets Senator Bennett on behalf of the FLEX students.

Senator Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) discusses civics and
American history with FLEX students in a Senate hearing room.

A Washington Highlight: Visiting The White House

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton with all 88 of the FLEX students at the White House.

The First Lady greeting the students in the West Wing of the White House on May 11, 1998. On the right are Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State on Assistance to the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union and Coordinator of U.S.Assistance to the NIS, and Dr. Joseph Duffey, then Director of the U.S. Information Agency.
The First Lady receives a book of the FLEX students' essays on current issues in civil society from FLEX student Shukhrat Sadyrov of Kazakhstan (hosted by Concord HS, Ca.).

Cathy Rex, teacher of American Literature at Rosborough High School in Philadelphia, discusses the FLEX experience from the teachers' perspective.

Amb. Richard Morningstar addresses the students at the White House.

After meeting the First Lady, FLEX students are hosted in the State Dining Room of the East Wing.

Robert McCarthy, Director of USIA's East European and NIS Affairs office, talks with several students at the White House

A student being interviewed at the White House.

The FLEX students visit the Capital Area Community Food Bank to learn about volunteerism in America.

Mark Agee, Volunteer Coordinator, explains the Food Bank's operations.

Below, the students team up to help the Food Bank.

Learning firsthand the hard work of the Food Bank.

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