The Program of Academic Exchange, PAX hosted a community coffee this morning at the Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce. Pax is a universal community that provides global education and exchange opportunities for students, host families, schools, and communities to open doors, embrace cultures, and become family.
Five students that are currently participating in the exchange program were present along with the Regional Development Manager, Arnetta Bradford. Each student said a few words about their experience here in the United States and how it differs from their county of origin. They also spoke about their host families, saying that those families have become a part of their hearts forever and expressed gratitude to the Hope, Spring Hill and Prescott communities for accepting them with open arms.
The students had some fun with a contest to see who could take the most selfies during the coffee. They were snapping pictures with everyone that came through the door and one student even walking downtown, determined to be the winner.
Regional Development Director for Pax, Arnetta Bradford, who has 52 students throughout Arkansas said, she was grateful to have this experience, what a blessing it is for her to be a part of helping students find host families and how this exchange program is making a difference for not only the students but the community in it’s entirety.
“It’s so touching to hear the students talk about being accepted because a lot of times people do have this black and white thing and for a student to come all the way from Africa to see the love and the hearts of the Spring Hill kids, the families, the teachers and for them to show the students that kindness; it’s building bridges, it’s tearing down that demon that has hovered over us a very long time. And that’s why, not so much that particular reason but that’s one of the reasons that I love this because culturally, it doesn’t matter what color you are, what your background is or where you’re from. We’re all just in this world trying to live together, love one another and hopefully get to heaven. That’s our goal to live peacefully in the midst of other men and so just to have each one of them from Ecuador to Moldova to Sierra Leone to Germany to all come here and be in this little place, Hope, Arkansas and to feel that much love, for us to have that type of impact on just these five students, that is huge. I want Hope to know that is a really really big thing,” Bradford said on one student’s comment about how she wasn’t sure she would be accepted being the only black student but ultimately was accepted by everyone.
For more information on how you can be a host family click HERE http://www.pax.org