2018-06-13 / Editorial

Making an unabashed plea for help

Sometimes we put our foot so far down our mouths we can’t get it out.

I’m guilty.

Several years ago, after a mission trip to Budapest where I met the Rotary Youth Exchange leader for Hungary, I advocated for the program in our Rotary district. We didn’t have one at the time and I thought we should.

So the next year, I was asked to start one.

That first year was a challenge to say the least, but we managed to get it done.

When I moved to Roxboro a little over a year ago, I told my fellow Rotarians about my involvement in the program.

To that point, Roxboro’s club hadn’t participated in the rejuvenated program.

So, you can imagine my surprise when two young people sought out the opportunity to go on an exchange.

Our club stepped to the plate and made plans to send them – one to France, the other to Belgium.

But, remember, this is an exchange. To send two students, our club had to agree to host two students.

Thankfully, the parents of both local students agreed to host.

But the Rotary program requires three host families for each student.

We’ve had two other families agree to host and I think they are going to make the year a particularly good one for our incoming students, who are from Brazil and France.

Person County Superintedent Rodney Peterson and Person High School principal Nell Sydnor- Waugh have graciously opened the local school system to them.

But with four families, we remain two families short of our need.

We ask host families to open their homes to these students for about three and a half to four months.

Both students speak English, though, to be fair, we won’t get a really clear picture of how good their spoken English is until they arrive. Their written English is quite good.

So, what’s in it for a host family? I’m so glad you asked.

I can tell you there is no pay, but you’ll be much richer for the experience.

These exchange students – young people between 15 and 18 years of age – are bright, inquistive young people.

They are adventurous, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, since they are willing to leave the comforts of their own home and family to start a new life, with new families, in a foreign country.

Your family – should you choose to host – will have the chance to introduce a young person to Roxboro, Person County and, indeed, the entire state. Rotary will take care of introducing them to the rest of the country.

And perhaps best of all, you’ll have a unique opportunity to learn something about a different part of the world.

If you’re interested, give me a call at 336-599- 0162 and let’s talk.

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