It was a dream come true for an international student who chose to spend a day in an American high school as part of her Make-A-Wish request.
Esley Kok of the Netherlands, who recently battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was treated like a celebrity as she rode the bus to Sanford H. Calhoun High School with former Make-A-Wish recipient and current Calhoun student, Holden Smith. She then shadowed senior Meghan Corona as the pair attended classes, took in some extra curriculars and even attempted cheerleading.
Corona, who was granted her own Make-A-Wish in 2013 of meeting the cast of the popular television show, “Glee,” battled a similar disease and said it was easy to bond with Kok.
“I volunteer for Relay for Life and have been involved with Make-A-Wish before, so I was eager to help out with this,” Corona said.
During Michael Goldberg’s Sculpture 4 class, Kok passed out Dutch delicacies, as students gathered around her, eager to learn more about her culture and education and even a foreign language lesson.
“It’s a whole other world back home, as we have smaller schools,” Kok said. “I really wanted to explore American classrooms and see some sports.”
Goldberg said Calhoun is the ideal setting for this because “there’s so much here for the kids to bring people together.”
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. This fulfillment was a joint effort between Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Make-A-Wish Netherlands.
Michael Goldberg instructed students in his Sculpture 4 class on how to cast a mold.
Photo courtesy of Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District