Rachel Andresen

Youth For Understanding is a dream come true. It is as strong as steel, as delicate as the moonbeam, as fragile as a butterfly wing, and as illusive as a will-of-the-wisp. It’s built on faith, on hope for the future and love as deep as abiding as life itself.To be part of it brings out the best in all of us. Each of us who has shared the magic of its being has contributed something bigger than we are. We have learned to love and be loved, to trust and be trusted, to open our homes and our hearts to all people, everywhere. Youth For Understanding has been like my own baby. I came to an early realization that here was a people-oriented program with an identity of its own, with tremendous possibilities for developing understanding with anultimate goal of world peace, given to me to guide and direct through its formative years. 

Why me? I will never know. I do know that I was given strength, courage and leadership to create and develop Youth For Understanding. 

I did not do it alone. There are people by the thousand who have given of themselves to make this dream come true. It became their dream, too. 

I want to say “thank you” to Students, to Host Families, to our School Principals, Superintendents, School Counselors and Teachers, to Community Leaders, to Churches for their undergirding of the Program and the network of Staff and Volunteers throughout the world. 

My own private purpose has been to get the job done and to see that everyone involved grew in the process. Thank you again.I love you. -

Rachel Andresen