OKIE: the Oklahoma Israel Exchange Partners with AIFL on Student
Exchange Program
For the second year in a row, OKIE: the Oklahoma Israel Exchange will join the
Youth Ambassador Student Exchange (YASE) program hosted by the American
Israel Friendship League (AIFL). In the fall of 2006, Jenks High School senior,
Andrew McQuary traveled to New York City, Washington D.C. and Israel along with
a group of students from the United States, the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and
Israel. The difference for OKIE during the fall 2007 program is two-fold: First, three
students, one from each high school in the Edmond Oklahoma Public School
District, will be selected by the school district to participate in this year's YASE
program.

These students will host international students in Edmond, travel with these students
to New York City, Washington D.C. and Israel, and finally provide follow-up
programming on International Relations within the Edmond schools during the
spring semester of 2008 and the fall 2008 and spring 2009 school years. Second,
Edmond, Oklahoma has been selected by AIFL as a host city and the Edmond
Public School District has been selected as a host school district. This means that
approximately ten students from the FSU and Israel, along with their chaperons, will
be hosted by families in the Edmond area for approximately one week at the start of
this year's YASE program. While in Edmond, they will join with the Edmond Public
School Students who will be participating in this year's YASE to provide
international programming within the three high schools in the Edmond School
District. All the students will then travel together to the U.S. cities mentioned above
and to Israel.

The Oklahoma coordinator for OKIE and AIFL YASE program, Michael Barlow,
himself a longtime educator stated, "Last year's program with our Jenks student,
Andrew McQuary proved to be extremely valuable for everyone involved. When I
traveled to Israel during the spring of 2007 and visited some of the same schools
that had been on the YASE agenda, the students and teachers all remembered
Andrew. His participation basically put Oklahoma on the map for Israelis in several
towns." Barlow went on to say that, "This year's program is very significant, not only
because we will be sending three Oklahoma students, but also because we will
have a host city. Last year all the traveling students were hosted in Arizona, and it
will be a boon to our area to be hosting this international gathering in Oklahoma this
year." OKIE Executive Director, Susan Robertson expressed with pride, "This is a
great opportunity for these students. Part of the mission of the Oklahoma Israel
Exchange is educating both Israelis and Oklahomans about each other's culture. To
be able to travel and experience not only their educational process, but also how the
other lives is invaluable."