Youth For Understanding USA

by on February 3, 2013

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Youth For Understanding USA Logo

I’m pretty sure that I’ve run out of football related non-profits to write about. For past Super Bowls I’ve covered the National Football Foundation, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, USA Football, and even the NFL (which is technically a non-profit). I’ve even taken the advertising angle with Common Sense Media and the Advertising Research Foundation. (We also covered World Vision which gives away the loser’s championship gear to developing countries.) So even though football is on my mind, we’re going to go in a completely different direction. When I was in college my parents and sister decided to replace me with a basketball (not football or American football) playing Italian exchange student who came through AFS. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. Youth For Understanding USA is a Bethesda, MD based non-profit foreign exchange organization similar to AFS that is “committed to preparing young people for their responsibilities and opportunities in a changing, interdependent world.”

Do You Understand?

Youth For Understanding got its start in 1951 when a minister proposed that “75 German teenagers from Germany and Austria were selected by the Army of the Occupation to come to live in the United States with American families for one year under the auspices of the US Department of State.” It was a great idea for repairing relations after World War II. While it’s hard to say how much effect Youth For Understanding had on American-German relations, it’s pretty easy to see that the organization has been a huge success. They now operate 60+ offices and support more than 4,000 exchange students ever year. The goal remains to promote “international understanding and world peace.” If you’d like to get involved, visit YFU USA’s Internships page. Right now they’re looking for an International Student Exchange Placement Interns at their 37 field and 5 district offices in the United States. The interns are paid a very small stipend ($100/month), but at least you you can help students learn to appreciate and understand what the Super Bowl is all about.

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