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Program seeks host families

Students and adults are coming from some of the poorest countries

Host families needed

Those interested in being host families should contact Theresa Bennett: Theresa.bennett@p..., 564-2160, 561-7894

— A group of students and adults from some of the poorest countries in the world is coming to Plattsburgh to study leadership and government.

Afterward, the Francophone African youth and adults will return to make a difference in their own countries.

But first, they need host families to live with during their Plattsburgh visit.

“They will be transported here and from here, so people are not responsible for picking up,” said Theresa Bennett, home-stay coordinator for the Youth Leadership Program at Plattsburgh State.

Over the course of two visits — one in the spring and the other the fall — 60 youth and adults will travel from sub-Saharan Africa to Plattsburgh State to study youth leadership, American government and more.

The program is funded by a U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs grant. The $330,000 grant awarded to Plattsburgh State and the Program for African Growth through Education was the only one of its kind given this year.

In addition to lessons about leadership and government, visitors will take part in team-building, community mapping, civic responsibility, ethics and community-service activities.

The first group is visiting March 25 through April 9, while the second visit is Sept. 16 through Oct. 6. The first group is from Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger.

“These are countries we really never had international students from,” said Marguerite Adelman, program director. “This is an amazing opportunity to education ourselves and learn about a part of the world we may never travel to.”

The last week of the trip is spent in Albany and Washington D.C., so host families are needed for the first two weeks.

“Someone in the family needs to speak French, and I think that is why we are having difficult finding host families,” Bennett said. “We are not looking for a high level of French. But someone needs to be comfortable with French.”

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