IRIS is proud to announce Enes Us from Turkey as January’s IRIS Student of the Month.

A native of Izmir, Turkey and accustomed to the hustle and bustle of a city with more than 2 million people, Enes Us now finds himself in Diagonal, Iowa. Diagonal has a population of 300 people and Enes is getting accustomed to seeing the same people everyday.

Enes shown holding his tuba.
Enes shown holding his tuba.

“Diagonal is pretty small but the people have bigger hearts and souls,” Enes said.

When asked about his philosophy on life, Enes responds with a wide smile. “Just try everything,” Enes said. “Dream more, and it will happen!”

That mentality has served him well as he joined choir, band (where he quickly picked up the tuba) and basketball for the first time in his life.

This past fall Enes was selected to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute to help address the issues of would hunger and water scarcity across the globe.

“I enjoyed every minute but my favorite is last day of the event,” Enes said. “In that day, the students were talking about how they changed their host communities.”

This budding change-maker has also garnered national attention by being selected as a finalist for the Civic Education Workshop and an alternate for the English Teaching Workshop, both held in Washington DC.

Enes had to apply for the Civic Education Workshop soon upon his arrival to the states. In his application, Enes decided to write about freedom of speech as a topic important to him.

Enes enjoying some Iowa winter cold!
Enes enjoying some Iowa winter cold!

“It’s important to me because we have ideas so we should tell our ideas,” Enes said. “Without freedom of speech, we can’t say the truth or see the truth.”

The majority of Enes’s community service hours involved sharing his own passion by teaching soccer lessons to young kids.

His local coordinator, Gina Zoss, adds “Enes is a very smart and mature young man. He is always up for a challenge and has proven over and over again how driven he is. He was selected to attend the World Food Prize GYI in October and did a phenomenal job presenting about his country. I am extremely proud of everything he has already accomplished and can’t wait to see what else he can do.”

IRIS would like to congratulate Enes on becoming the January student of the month! All of your hard work and continuous development since becoming a part of the YES program has not gone unnoticed.

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