Growing up in Uzbekistan, everything Bek Abdullayev knew about the United States he’d learned from pop culture and Hollywood movies.
“A lot of high rises, beautiful people,” was what he imagined. “Michael Jordan, Madonna, whatever you see in the movies. You know, ‘Home Alone,’ so a big family home in a nice neighborhood.”
As a teenager, Abdullayev got to experience the U.S. first-hand after he earned a spot in a competitive program called the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX), funded by the U.S. Department of State.
The program launched in 1993, just a few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. High school students from about 20 countries, mostly former Soviet republics, spend an academic year in the U.S.”
Read more from Laura Spencer at KCUR on Bek and his amazing journey to entrepreneurship here…