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YevheniiYevhenii Nakonechnyi is a junior at Waukee Northwest High School and is enrolled in our Developing Web Based Technologies course. Yevhenii is also an exchange student from Ukraine. We asked him about his experience with the APEX program, his future plans, and the differences in schooling.

Could you give a little background about yourself?

I’m working on pursuing a career in IT. I also love photography and am working on saving up money for a nice camera. As far as extracurriculars go, I would say that I love sports, swimming, and skiing the most. I’m staying with a host family here in Iowa.

What have you been involved in since you came to the US?

I joined the FBLA club and am heavily involved. At the state leadership conference, I placed 2nd in cyber security & 4th in computer problem solving. With these placements, I qualified for nationals in Atlanta, Georgia which is in June of this year.

Tell me about your APEX experience.

I’m currently in Developing Web-Based Technologies. I think APEX is a great opportunity for students who want to take their interests to the next level and step into a career in a specific field. I think it’s a great experience for students to work on real-life projects, set up meetings, talk about things with clients, and more. Ashley, my instructor, is also always there and supports me.

For my project, we learn content management software (CMS) and teach the client to work with it. We also make the website and then teach them how to edit. I’m working with the Des Moines Heritage Center and will continue working with them throughout the end of the year.  So far, we have worked on designing a website for the DSM Heritage Center, the DSM Heritage Trust, and have created interactive displays for the center so they can tell about their history.

What are some skills (professional skills) you have learned during your time at APEX?

I already had some background, but my skills have been strengthened by doing things I haven’t done before. I learned many technical skills in Ukraine outside of school studies. You have to push yourself towards it if you want to go deeper. They give you lots of resources, however.

What is school life like in Ukraine?

It is completely different. You can’t choose your subjects, they’re chosen for you. Here, we have many different classes with different teachers. In Ukraine, you stay with the same people in your classes throughout most of your school life.

What do you plan to do in the future?

I’m going to apply to U.S. colleges. I want to try and get a full U.S. scholarship. I’m going to apply to mostly prestigious colleges because many of them are the only ones that offer funds for international students.

What is your favorite thing about APEX?

The possibility to make connections with great people – both student associates and leaders who come in to speak to us on Professional Development days.  I want to encourage students to enroll in APEX and engage in it because I have learned a lot through my time with the program.

“Be persistent in your efforts, and success will come knocking at your door.”