When Philip was an exchange student from Ghana, he was hosted by the Grace family in California during the 2016-17 school year. Philip received a full academic scholarship from the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau.

While living with the Graces, Philip felt an immediate joy in their home, from the moment he arrived to the day when he returned to Ghana. “I have been shown so much ceaseless and depthless love by my host family. My host parents have done everything they can just to put a smile on my face every day,” Philip says.

Even though they were strangers when they met in August, by June they had created a true and lasting bond. “My host mom, Jennifer loves me as if I came from her own womb. She cares so deeply and spends a lot of time to keep me going and happy in life even though I know she has a very demanding job and that goes to my host dad, Douglas, as well.”

Philip also enjoyed a playful relationship with his host brother and two host sisters. “I could not have asked for better host siblings than the ones I have. We complain, quarrel, and tease each other but hey, that’s what makes us kids. Amidst all these, we care deeply, support and motivate, and laugh at each other.”

“This family is the real definition of love, care, motivation and endless support. My love for them is immeasurable and I can call them my family proudly.”

Like Philip, exchange students from the YES Program are arriving this fall to the U.S. for a year-long stay with volunteer host families. To learn about opportunities to host for a full academic year or just 6-12 weekscontact us and we’ll send you more information.

To see photos of Philip and the Grace family, please scroll down.