As a dorm parent, I feel very passionate about the teenagers who live on campus. I see their highs and lows and get to experience their different cultures personally. I think a lot about how I was raised and the demographics of the state I live in and compare that to the diversity these students provide to our community. I am so proud to bring them to local schools and have them share their cultural differences to young minds, helping to create a broader community of more tolerant adults down the road.

In December, one student from Denmark came to a school dressed all in white, with an evergreen wreath crowning her blonde hair and sang a song celebrating Saint Lucia.

The students were enthralled.

Another group of students ventured out more recently to teach students about three different cultures that celebrate a lunar new year: Vietnam, Thailand, and China.

The kids had the chance to look at traditional decorations, watch a slideshow of photos, and even see a video of the giant water fight that happens yearly in Thailand.

Afterwards the children showed us how they are learning to celebrate the Spring Festival in China.

They had even made a dragon that they were going to march around the school in a dance.

That was our turn to be impressed!

Opportunities like these are the most ideal and the most mutually beneficial way for our students to get to know the local community and for the locals to get to know their culture. The Residential program is always on the look out for more opportunities for our students to interact. If you are interested in having some of our students visit your school or organization and teach about their home, please contact Missy Abbott at