Valerija Barkanova, originally from Latvia, is currently an International Baccalaureate student in one of the Danish high schools. Valerija’s friends describe her as open-minded, goal-oriented, and a hard-working young leader. Valerija enjoys learning cultures and languages, “It is incredible that our world is so culturally diverse! That does not only teach us to honor the differences, but also inspires creativity, and drives innovation, opening new horizons,” says Valerija. She fluently speaks Russian, English and Latvian. “I am currently working on learning more languages: German, French and Danish, and it makes me feel amazing!” comments Valerija. She is the first-generation Latvia FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program) World Link alumna. “One of the things I learned during my exchange year in America is that it is crucial to be considerate. We should not only think about ourselves but work together to support those who are in need.” Valerija, a member of a Global Youth Group, plays an active role in her community. She is a co-founder of science and photography clubs at her school. Valerija is always open to new opportunities. She says: “It may seem scary to try something you have never done before, but it is certainly fun! It gives you an opportunity to meet new people, explore new places and ways of thinking.” Valerija is an ardent supporter of a healthy lifestyle which she considers to be a key component to a happy life. “I would love to run a marathon one day,” says Valerija.