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Student exchanges can lead to world peace

Date published: 2/5/2013

In the 1970s my family hosted an American Field Service high school student from Ghana. He returned to Ghana and then came back to the U.S. and earned a Ph.D. in microbiology from Howard University. He did post-graduate work in AIDS research and is now a university professor of microbiology.

Some of his work has included work based upon the Anthrax scare in 2000. His wife is also from Ghana and is an emergency room nurse. Both are now naturalized U.S. citizens.

Both make a significant contribution to their Connecticut community. However, they have not forgotten the folks in their home country. They have established the Withrow University College in Ghana dedicated to training midwives, nurses, and teachers. They have encouraged immunization of all young children in Ghana.

The U.S. has acquired two competent, science-literate citizens, and their home nation, Ghana, has reaped a rich reward in public health services.

While all my children benefit from this exchange, my middle and youngest daughters spent time in Guatemala and Peru as exchange students. I am confident that these exchanges have enriched my family and my country.

More and more, we are becoming one world, and the better we understand one another, the more peaceful it will be. Yes, there are unique and amazing opportunities in America for others, but the world also has many opportunities for our children.

The better we know one another, the more likely it is that we will live in a peaceful world.

Frank B. Withrow