The Jiri Effect: An exchange student’s impact

We love to hear about how our high school exchange students grow and develop while here in the USA. So, check out this feel-good story about a student from the Czech Republic in the 2021-22 season.  His teacher wrote such a glowing recommendation for this very intelligent young man, calling his positive influence on the school and the community “the Jiri Effect”.

Read the letter of recommendation his teacher wrote. 

The picture of Jiri hangs on the teacher’s cabinet.

January 13, 2023

It is with a sense of unbridled enthusiasm that I provide Jiri A. with a letter of recommendation. He is truly an exceptional young man of high moral character and unparalleled intellect. I have been a secondary teacher in Oregon for 30 years, and Jiri is absolutly the most intelligent, kind, and motivated individual I’ve ever encountered.

Jiri came to Rainier High School during the 2021-22 school year and he made an absolutely indelible impression on everything from clubs to academics and even teaching!  Jiri was my student in both Economics and Marketing, where he achieved amazing success with every assignment and project. The remarkable part of this is that he took Marketing as an additional 8th period class! Our “regular” students rarely, if ever attempt this feat. He wanted to learn it, and took full advantage of every opportunity to experience different classes. During my advanced computer class, he offered to come in as a guest teacher during his leadership time to teach essential topics such as 3D printing and circuit building. He even started a robotics club and made sure that partipating seniors got a special cord to wear during graduation.

If I had to define Jiri, I would say he absolutely loves to experience everything in life. Experiences define him, and he grabs onto whichever are available to him. The only ones he fears are those he hasn’t had to the opportunity to experience. Students at our school gravitated towards Jiri because of this fearless outlook on life. Our school was a much better place simply by him being here. In fact, the halls and classroom are missing the “Jiri Effect” this year. His bigger than life persona provided a bright light which unfortunately will never be replicated.

Simply put, Jiri is fearless. Combine that with integrity, kindness, and intelligence and you have a person who will undoubtedly succeed at any endeavors he undertakes. He will conquer challenges and excel at an unparalleled level. If I were a betting man, I would be 100% in with Jiri A. He is truly a once-in-a-generation student!


Matthew S., Business Teacher

Rainier High School


Thank you to Greenheart Local Coordinators, Pam and Monica, for sharing this!

If you are interested in hosting an international exchange student, please visit