A note from YFU USA President, Michael HillSometimes old adages are true! Today marks my one-year anniversary as YFU USA’s President & CEO, and it’s been an incredible 365 days!
It’s hard to believe that I showed up last year in the middle of our placement cycle, the time of our program year where we place close to 2,000 young people from around the globe. My earliest days were spent learning their stories, seeing in them a desire and a dream to experience an exchange year in the US and knowing we had a lot of work to do to get them here. Thankfully, they made it, and they – and I – have had an incredible journey together.
That’s one of the best parts of YFU: you get to see the world through the eyes of young people who want to participate as global citizens. They come here and many others leave FROM here because they know that life is bigger than their own communities. What happens on that program year will forever change them. Many return to their countries with a whole new world view and a desire to bridge differences. All of them go home with a greater understanding that the world is not quite as big as they thought when they left. And, if we do this right, they create enduring friendships that will last a lifetime.
My program year has had me meet hundreds of our incredible volunteers, staff across the country, international partners around the globe and having the chance to ask big questions about the future of exchange.
So as my second June rolls around, I cannot help but find myself reflecting about the students that will head home, excited about the new class that will soon arrive and ever-grateful for the many people who made this inaugural year as President so rich and rewarding.
Thank you all so much for taking this journey with me. Onward!