Northwest Region Excels During Annual Homecoming

Homecoming festivities are a time honored tradition in America, dating back to college celebrations in the late 1800s in which students and faculty welcomed back returning alumni. The week long revelry generally included dances, rallies, picnics, and football games during which school teams would face off against their athletic and academic rivals.

Today these celebrations take place all over America, but there may be some districts hard pressed to find a region that does it with the gusto and fervor shown in the Northwest. In states like Washington and Oregon, homecoming is the event of the year for students and citizens. Parades, games, dances, and all manner of festivities take place the whole week long, and at the end the King and Queen chosen by the student body will stand preeminently with their classmates and neighbors to celebrate another year and the return of their local heroes.

In Ephrata, Washington, for example, homecoming includes a week of rallies, themed dress up days, dances, and games in which students and teachers compete against one another for various prizes. This year was especially notable, as Ephrata took home their first football victory in several years against their long standing rivals.

In the Northwest region as a whole, nine exchange students were named king and queen of homecoming at their respective high schools, and the exchange students had a chance to meet neighbors and former alumni from all over the country.

We at ISE wish the Northwest region and all regions across the U.S. a successful and productive year, and congratulate Ephrata on their recent victory.

Local Representative Honored By Northern Illinois Food Bank

Regional Advisor Sally Hoesel was honored Saturday September, 1st with the Northern Illinois Food Bank Youth Group of the Year Award for 2012. Accepting the award on behalf of International Student Exchange, Sally and her team gratefully showed Northern Illinois what a team of bright young students and caring advocates can do when they work together. Working diligently side by side with other volunteers from the area, students help to colelct, pack, and shiop food to distribution sites across the state.

Sally Hoesel has been a member of the ISE team for over six years running, and in that time she has placed nearly one hundred students in great homes in the Illinois region. When asked about her contributions to the food bank, Sally responded saying that “We volunteer the second Saturday of every month for over two hours…this marks the beginning of our third year with the food bank.”

In a coordinated effort to feed the homeless, the elderly, and the young hungry of Illinois, The Northern Illinois Food Bank helps to serve over 60,000 hungry people each week through partnerships with pantries, soup kitchens, and local distribution sites all over the state. They are happy to have students and other volunteers from the ISE program with them during the school year, and look forward to their visits on the weekends.

Sally admits that she is “very proud to be recognized,” and so is ISE. It is people like Sally and her great team of students that keep this program going. Congratulations Sally! Keep up the good work.