Walla Walla High School recognized for exchange program

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Everyone associated with the local AFS-USA intercultural student exchange program is thrilled that Walla Walla High School is one of two schools in the state to win recognition as a 2014 Top AFS School.

They celebrated Tuesday evening during the Walla Walla School Board meeting at the district office board room.

A note from Jorge Castro, AFS-USA president, reports that 79 schools out of 2,100 that participate were commended for their commitment to hosting U.S. State Department-sponsored exchange students from more than 50 countries. “By doing so, they help to increase inter-cultural understanding and foster peaceful relations between the United States and countries around the world.”

Commendation for Wa-Hi’s participation came independently from both U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and AFS-USA, Jorge said.

“We want to publicly express our appreciation to the visionary leaders of Walla Walla High School for recognizing the importance of exposing all students to the kind of intercultural learning that supports our mission of building a more just and peaceful world,” Jorge said.

Wa-Hi has given more than 70 AFS placements in the last 16 years. For 2013-2014 there are four AFS students at the school, said Linnea Keatts, area AFS volunteer.

They are always looking for host families and volunteers as liaisons and support people and for students interested in studying abroad. They have two new families with students and need at least two more families in Walla Walla for the upcoming 2014-15 hosting season.

Linnea feels the support AFS receives from the surrounding area are key to its success. For more details, contact Linnea at 509-525-0049

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