International Wildkats leave legacy


International students leave their mark on KHS by participating in clubs, sports and spirit activities.

Rhea Duong Nguyen, Guest Columnist

Each year, KHS welcomes students from all over the world to participate in an exchange year in America. This opportunity diversifies the school by bringing in a mix of different cultures, enriching the high school experience. This year, KHS is the host of over 30 students from all different parts of the world.

The international students take classes and join activities like a normal American high-schooler. They play sports, join clubs, engage in school spirit events and some have even achieved exceptional academic results. Their achievements contribute immensely to the success of the school and they are proud to be a part of KHS legacy.

When asked about her experience at Kokomo High School, Jihwi Min, a junior from South Korea said that her year at Kokomo has been some of the best time in her life.

Min is an honor student with a GPA of 4.6. She is also a varsity cheerleader, member of the International Student Council and a part of the school’s orchestra. Min won a state gold-medal for violin and together with her dance teammates competed in the National Dance Competition.

For the future international students coming to KHS, Min advised: “There will always be troubles or conflicts but you should always focus on yourself to enjoy your exchange year to the fullest.”

Min is returning as a senior and she will continue to contribute to Kokomo High School.

Flory Bidunga is a sophomore from Congo and he has made his mark on the Wildkat legacy.

Bidunga’s biggest challenge coming to the exchange year was his English. He came to KHS speaking very little English, but through hard work and determination, he has improved vastly and was able to participate in school activities.

Basketball became the bridge that closed the gap between Bidunga and Kokomo High School, as he is now a key member of the varsity basketball team. When asked about basketball, Bidunga said: “It was a little difficult to adapt to the American players and I had to hang on and I tried my best everyday.”

Bidunga and the Wildkat basketball team brought home the 2022 sectional championship by beating Lafayette Jeff. And on March 13th, with a great comeback in the fourth quarter against the Westfield Shamrocks, they made history by winning the regional championship, going into the Final Four, and hoping to compete for the state championship.

Bidunga plans to graduate from Kokomo High School and will continue to achieve great things during his time as a Wildkat.

The international students will always be a part of Kokomo High School history and they will carry their journeys at KHS close to their hearts as they step into the future.