Lions luncheon hears from exchange students

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Before another capacity gathering at the Hope Lions luncheon on Monday, a group of five foreign exchange students from Spring Hill High School shared their experiences about school, being in Hope and being in America.
The students were presented by Arnetta Bradford, who is a regional director for PAX, Program for Academic Exchange, and she happens to live in Hope. She oversees students for Arkansas, Louisiana as well as eastern Texas.
Within Hope, Bradford said she has 13 total exchange students in the area this semester, also including a student at Blevins and two at Prescott High School.
The five students at Lions Club on Monday each give speeches on their impressions and experiences. Bradford said, “They were a little nervous, but they did great; they were amazing; they were honest and they spoke from the heart.”
Of the five students, one male and four females, they have been hosted by three local area families. All the students attended Spring Hill High School, where three of them, Ine Meers, Ariana Villagomez, and Bruna Saldanha will graduate high school as Bears in May before returning to their respective home countries to attend universities.
Lyu Yaning, a junior, was a basketball player for the Bears, and he was nicknamed locally as “Potter,” due to his resemblance to a taller version of the movie character.
Ane Manzanedo, a Spring Hill sophomore this year, also spoke, and she will finish up her junior and senior years in her home country.
As a group, the five made their observations on attending Spring Hill High School and participating in sports there as well as American food and their hosting families.

Ine Meers, a senior, speaks to Lions Club on Monday. (Rick Kennedy photo)
Ane Manzanedo, a sophomore at Spring Hill, provides her impressions of America. (Rick Kennedy photo)
Bruna Saldanha, a senior, said she hopes to return to the states to study medicine. (Rick Kennedy photo)
Ariana Villagomez, a senior, was the final speaker at Monday’s program. (Rick Kennedy photo)
Another capacity crowd was on hand for Monday’s Lions Club luncheon. (Rick Kennedy photo)


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