Youth Exchange Committee Update – 10/14/14

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Our current exchange student, Ariadna Paraira from Barcelona, is doing very well as a junior at Sammamish High School and will be staying with Steve and Sarah Hayne until the end of December. She will be making a short presentation to the Club this coming Friday, October 17th.

As a Committee, our biggest challenge is finding two additional host families for January through March and April through June. On September 29th, Sarah Hayne, Tanya Franzen-Garrett and I gave a brief presentation at the Sammamish High PTSA meeting, where we distributed a flier:  Host Families Wanted.   Catherine Smith, PTSA leader, also sent the flier to the parents of the class of 2016 and Cathy Habib has included it in the Sammamish High School Totem eNews.

I was told at the PTSA meeting that the Rotary Youth Exchange program was the only international exchange program that has been actively promoted at Sammamish High.

To date, I haven’t received any inquiries from parents with kids at Sammamish High about hosting Ariadna. My next move is to ask Catherine Smith to publicize the program among parents with kids in the classes of 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Laura Adams has graciously offered to be Ariadna’s host Mom from January through March in the event we don’t find another host family. She is also responsible for Ariadna’s schedule of activities.   Thank you, Laura.

Three weeks ago, I helped chaperone all six of Rotary District 5030’s international exchange students (Ariadna, two girls from Italy, one girl from Finland, one girl from France and a boy from Germany) on a memorable trip to Yellowstone for their inbound orientation.   Although none of the students knew each other before the trip, they were best friends after a week of bonding, exploring majestic Yellowstone, photographing wildlife and helping with meal preparation. I was with them again on Saturday, boxing apples at Rotary First Harvest.

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