By: Becky Meehan from ,
We are the Meehan family. We have two sons who are two years apart and who have always been very close. When our son Andrew realized that his older brother Adam would soon be leaving for college, he asked about hosting an exchange student to help fill the gap that would be created by his brother's departure. What started as a desire for companionship became an unexpected growth opportunity for our younger son. Having an assertive older brother, Andrew did not have the chance to make many decisions for himself much less for others. That all changed when Mateo joined our family and Adam left for college. Mateo is from Spain and is about two years younger than Andrew. Andrew became the older brother to whom Mateo looked for advice and ideas. Andrew introduced Mateo to his friends at high school and taught him many family traditions. Andrew helped guide Mateo when visiting extended family and on family trips including several days in New York City. This position of leadership increased Andrew's confidence and contributed to his emotional growth and maturity. Mateo was am important member of our family. We all enjoyed our time with him but the most significant benefit was to our son Andrew. We are grateful to Mateo and to AFS for providing this wonderful opportunity.
This project addresses the following sustainability goals in :