By: Cara Parenti, Career Advancement Program Assistant

Octavian, a Career Advancement Program intern from Romania, has experienced American culture in many different ways since arriving to the US in September 2013. Octavian spends his free time going to the beach, trying various restaurants, and meeting new people. He says that “…a huge advantage is that my sister has been living here (Ft. Lauderdale) for 3 years and she knows a lot of fun places.” Because Octavian has a family member that lives in his host community, he has been able to quickly meet his welcoming friends and dive straight into the American culture.

While Octavian greatly enjoyed the time he was spending with his sister, there were others who showed him around his new community. His host organization sponsored a fundraising bowling tournament at Manor Lanes Bowling in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The fundraiser helped families who were experiencing a serious illness or crisis in their lives by providing them a place to relax and enjoy their time together. The event was filled with competition and fun activities including, Thanksgiving trivia, a silent auction, a thanksgiving costume contest and, most importantly, the “Turkey Challenge!”

The Turkey Challenge was a contest for all bowlers where the first bowler to hit a turkey (3 strikes in a row) won a 4 night Cruise and Stay to The Bahamas. Octavian had not been bowling for two years, but don’t worry, he hadn’t lost his touch! He put his bowling skills to the test and won the Turkey Challenge! Octavian was so excited to win a cruise to visit beautiful Caribbean islands and decided to take his sister with him!

CCI Greenheart is happy that Octavian has met so many wonderful people who helped him take full advantage of his experience in the U.S. What a better way to experience American culture than with a little friendly competition for a great cause!