By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
The award came from AFS-USA, formerly American Field Service, a world-wide, nonprofit organization involved in high school student exchanges for 65 years. Pacific Crest was called the “Outstanding AFS School for Columbia Pacific Area.”
The award was presented to the assembled students in February by exchange student Mohammed al Astal of Gaza, who is a YES Program Scholar selected by the U.S. State Department. The YES program – Youth Exchange and Study – is for 15- to 17-year-old students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend an academic year in the U.S. Scholarships also are available for American students to study in selected countries.
Pacific Crest, founded in 1993 by five teachers, has hosted at least 15 students since 2005. It also has sent at least five students abroad during that time, said Sally Ann Wells, the Columbia Pacific Volunteer Coordinator for AFS-USA. The school’s website says it enrolls about 80 students and has a dozen faculty members.
The AFS district, Wells said, is “thrilled that this small school is making such an impact on world peace and cultural understanding.”