Student exchange program needs Michigan hosts

A student exchange program has been impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Students who would have been placed in Texas now need to be placed elsewhere.

Some Michigan families have already answered the call for help, but now this cultural exchange program hopes many more families will roll out a welcome mat.

“It would be a real help for us to place another 10 to 15 kids in local metro Detroit area,” said Barb Kilkka from Youth For Understanding USA.

The Dwyer family has already opened their home to Vyara Nikolova from Bulgaria- and says they are willing to help more if needed

“If there were a child in need of a place to come stay, I would be happy to welcome them into my home,” said host mother Kristin Dwyer,

Dwyer is from Houston and knows first-hand what the aftermath of a hurricane can be like.

“It's difficult to see. I've lived through hurricanes growing up in Houston – and nothing has even begun look like this [damage from Harvey],” said Dwyer.

Vyara hopes more Michigan homes will open their doors so student participants don't lose out on the American experience.

“It's just an amazing experience because you get to see what actual families do, not just what you see in the movies,” said Nikolova.

Families involved in the program say it's not only beneficial for the student, but the host family as well.

“There are so many wonderful parts. I have children and they love having a new sister come into the house,” said Dwyer.

To learn how you can become a host family, click here.