Host families wanted for AFS students
Families interested in expanding their horizons without leaving town may want to consider hosting an AFS student. The team development specialist for this area, Lisa Boynton, recently notified Cook County Schools that host families are still being sought for the upcoming school year.
One match has already been made in Cook County. Jay and Laura LaFavor will be welcoming a young woman from Germany named Teresa. She will arrive in early August.
Families interested in hosting a student can read biographies on students still needing homes, such as the following:
Elena, a girl from Italy, has a passion for the arts and enjoys music, painting, theater and dance. She also is a leader in her local Girl Scout troop.
Hendrick, a boy from Germany, loves sports – biking, swimming and going to the lake in the summer and skating and sledding in the winter. He also enjoys spending time with his dog, George, and two rabbits.
Claudia, a girl from Austria, has a passion for music. She enjoys skiing, running, swimming and hiking. Her favorite subjects at school are math and history.
Rodrigo, a boy from Brazil, has a passion for music and plays both the guitar and keyboard. He enjoys sports as well. He has a strong academic focus and after high school wants to go on to college to be an engineer.
Boynton hoped the information on students needing host families would be shared throughout the community. “Often it is the student bio that catches the eye of a family and gets them interested in hosting a student,” she said.
People interested in hosting an AFS student can contact Boynton by calling her at 1(800)876-2376 ext. 3322 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Families can also fill out a hosting interest form or find out more information about the organization on the AFS website, www.afsusa.org.
AFS-USA, formerly the American Field Service, is a nonprofit organization that facilitates student exchanges in more than 40 countries. About 2,300 students from around the world come to the U.S. through AFS each year, while about 1,000 U.S. students go abroad. “We have more students that want to come to the U.S. than we have families for,” Boynton said. The Midwest has the highest density of AFS students each year, with the highest concentrations in rural areas where students can get to know their community and participate in a broad range of experiences.
AFS-USA has been organizing student exchanges for the last 65 years, although the organization was actually started in 1915. It was begun as an ambulance service provided by young volunteers on battlefields during World Wars I and II. It grew into a peace-building mission involving student exchanges. Its mission: “AFS-USA works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership.”