Of Cape St. Clair coordinate the...


August 29, 1993

PETE AND CATHY NELSON of Cape St. Clair coordinate the local chapter of Youth For Understanding (YFU) international exchange program and act as a host family to exchange students. The Nelsons recently played host to a student from the former Soviet Union. They are seeking homes for other students who have arrived in the Baltimore area.

Volunteer's comments: "Although some of the kids have been placed, we still need to place about 17 students into permanent homes for the school year," Mr. Nelson said. "Some of the kids are already here."

"I've been working with the program for about 10 years. YFU previously concentrated on students from Europe and the Western Pacific Rim -- such as Japan, the Philippines -- and now is branching out to other areas."

"My wife has been working for a couple of years as a volunteer trainer, orienting and preparing American students to go overseas. Two years ago, she had taken a group of U.S kids to Moscow, where she was going to meet with a group of Russian students to get them ready to come to the U.S, and was there during the coup attempt."

Mr. Nelson praises the Optimist Club of Severna Park for its efforts on behalf of the exchange program.

"They have joined in something of a combined effort with us to help get exchange students here, and they are very interested in working with international kids."

About the volunteers: The Nelsons have been county residents for 11 years. Mr. Nelson has worked in international travel with the hotel industry and describes himself as an "entrepreneur" who does some public relations work. Mrs. Nelson is a county teacher.

Both had parents whose careers involved international travel and spent time growing up overseas.

About the organization: Established in 1951, Youth For Understanding promotes international understanding and world peace through exchange programs. To volunteer as a host family, call 757-5030.

"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To nominate someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911 or 1-(800) 829-8000, Ext. 8911, any time or fax nominations to 315-8916 or mail them to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Md. 21122.

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