Memorable Moments

International Friendship Program

Kay Wright is a Guidance Clerk at Bayside High School.

Kay joined Florida Tech’s International Friendship Program in the spring of 2006 as a host. Jing Zhu is from China. They met via e-mail before Jing arrived. Both attended our Open House, and because Jing loves birds, they decided to go to the zoo. Kay made stew and apple pie for our recent annual international pot luck dinner— which everyone loved!

Linda Condon, a member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Introduced to the Friendship Program through a friend in early 2006, when growing up, her family “adopted” many foreign students during their stay in the United States. She has hosted several students for holiday dinners. Linda says, “food is one of the great ways of sharing culture. The activities of the friendship program—the coffee hours, potluck dinners, barbecues and other events—are great ways to share and learn.” She goes on to say, “it is my hope that these young people when they return home will remember their experiences here and practice tolerance and peace. This is our own little piece of diplomacy, and perhaps we can change the world one student at a time.” Salem Balamash from Saudi Arabia and other students agree, the friendship program provides them with memories they will keep all their lives and experiences they will never forget.

William Anderson,  Past President of the Eau Gallie Rotary Club, and Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Daytona Beach

"Participating in the IFP was a genuine blessing to our family.  Being paired over the years with students from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan resulted in our being stretched beyond stereotypes and enjoying what have become lifelong friendships.  The IFP allowed us to contribute to Rotary's lofty goals of world peace and understanding, while serving personally as interpreters of our own American culture."