Posted by William Schuberth on Apr 18, 2018
Chris Cantrell is asking all Rotarians and their friends to help him find a place for a currently homeless boy from France. That's right. Our club has agreed to take an exchange student for the upcoming year, but at the present time Chris has not been able to have anyone volunteer to be a host family. THOMAS DI FAZIO FROM LYON, FRANCE WILL BE 16 YEARS OLD WHEN HE IS SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE IN THIS COUNTRY IN EARLY AUGUST. THE RULES FOR EXCHANGE STUDENTS REQUIRE THAT THEY HAVE A HOST FAMILY BEFORE THEY CAN APPLY FOR A VISA. THOMAS IS REPORTED TO BE FLUENT IN ENGLISH AND IS VERY OUTGOING. HE SHOULD BE A REAL PRIZE AS AN EXCHANGE STUDENT. THE SCHOOL HE ATTENDS WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE FIRST HOST FAMILY.
Linda and I have hosted several exchange students and they have greatly enriched the lives of our family. This June we will be going to Austria to visit with a former exchange student that we hosted about 30 years ago. He now has 3 children, two in college and one in high school. He and his family and our family have visited each other several times. 
For those who have never hosted an exchange student, have no fear, these kids are screened before they are chosen to represent their country's and home towns as ambassadors.  They often make great big brothers or sisters. Think of it this way......Raising teenagers can be a challenge so think about hosting an exchange student so you can practice on them before you screw up your own teenagers. 
Think of hosting a student not as a responsibility and chore but as an opportunity to enrich your life with an experience that  will give you wonderful memories for the rest of your life.
If you are interested in hosting or have a friend to whom you would like to offer such an opportunity, please call Chris Cantrell at 815-341-2916 at your earliest convenience.