Guest post from YFU President & CEO Michael E. Hill
Where have the past 1,096 days gone?!
Today marks three years of service as President & CEO of YFU USA. So much has happened in these first three years. When I reflect on my work here, I often write about the impact of exchange, its possibilities to promote peace in the world, and the transformative equation of placing a young person with a loving family under the helpful assistance of an incredible volunteer advocate. And all of this remains as true today as it was the first day I walked into this office.
But this year marks a different milestone for me. In August, I welcome my exchange son from Finland to share my home in the United States. I have always felt a connection
The journey has been more nerve wracking than I thought it would be.
I agreed to host in February. It took me more than a month to get through the whole process, and at each step of the way, I got a little more invested. Seeing a young person’s story on my computer screen only gave me a glimpse of his story. Waiting to see if I passed the various tests and home visits – yes, they apply even to the President of YFU! –
The next few months will include getting to know him more, preparing his room, wrapping my head around parent-teacher conferences at his school, and thinking how I want to shape his year in America. And I know these “well-laid plans” will all change as his unique personality makes an entrance into my -- into our -- home.
I hope to share a lot more with you throughout the year about my first time hosting. But, until the third week of August, I want to say “thank you” for making my first three years at the helm of YFU USA such a rich and rewarding experience.
In a couple of weeks, we will celebrate Father’s Day in the United States. For all you veteran parents, any advice you have for this rookie is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to sharing the best gems of advice I receive on my personal YFU Facebook page at facebook.com/michaelhillyfu.
Thank you again for all you do for YFU. I feel honored and privileged to have journeyed with each of you these past three years.