A boy and a girl from China need a home in the area as soon as possible.

Jianxin and Yochen are both 17-year-olds participating in Academic Year in America. The two are the only students left without host families.

"Lingleville, Huckabay, and Stephenville schools are filled with students," James Gresham, region host coordinator, said. "I still have school space in Dublin and I'd like to find families in Hico or Tolar areas if possible."

Gresham said a family can participate as a "welcome family," which is only a four to six week commitment rather than a whole year.

The host family is required to provide room and board for the student, but the room can be shared with another of the same sex within four years of the exchange student's age. Students must be transported to and from school since none of them are allowed to drive in this country. The students come with their own money for entertainment and personal items, Gresham said.

This year, each student will arrive with a $300 cultural activity fund and Gresham said the money can be applied toward any family activity.

"This allows families to do things without an extra expense for the student," Gresham said. "For example, the money could be used for trips to Six Flags or museum visits, and it would pay for the student's portion of the expenses."

By hosting a student, a family can gain a tax deduction and be provided with travel credits when hosting students for at least two years. The travel credit is through Academic Year in America and the organization arranges travel deals and rates according to Gresham.

"The credit covers a flight or a portion of a flight," Gresham said. "The more you host the higher the portion."

For more information visit the Web site www.academicyear.org or call James Gresham at 254-592-5286.

Contributed profiles


Jianxin is friendly and easy to get along with. He has many friends and values their friendship. He spends as much time as he can with his family, listening to music, and watching films. He is very respectful; they enjoy visiting relatives and discussing current events. He has volunteered with the elderly, helping clean, just talking, and even played basketball with the ones who liked it. He has participated in raising the flag at his school, directed the schools art festival, and worked as a broadcaster in English at the radio station at the school. Positive and self-motivated, he is independent but is also a team players. His teacher is impressed with his persistence and drive. He belongs to the basketball club, besides playing, they watch the NBA and discuss the plays. He feels it is an honor to be a member of an American family and would to cook some Chinese dishes for his new family.


Yochen has taken part in environmental protection issues and helps the disabled students in school. She is a member of the One on One club. She lives to swim and especially loves visiting museums. The atmosphere, ancient and mysterious appeals to her. She is very close to her family, often doing sports, shopping, watching movies, and having dinner together on the weekends. They visit families in other cities. She has a good attitude with family and friends. She has been a class monitor in school, won different study competitions (English & Physics), a hard worker, good listener and communicator, her teach is impressed with her ability to get along with teachers and classmates. She is lovely and friendly and well loved by everyone. She looks forward to the challenge of living a new lifestyle, to learn a new culture, to share her culture, and to improve her English. She is fascinated by the Americans in movies and wants to see first hand.