Livingston 4H Family hosts student from Japan

Local 4-H Family Hosting Student from Japan

Twenty New York State families are sharing their homes with a young person or adult chaperone from Japan for one month this summer through the 4-H Youth Development program. The 4-H Japanese Exchange program is an initiative of the New York State 4-H Office at Cornell University, in cooperation with County Cornell Cooperative Extension offices around the State. The 18 Japanese youth, ages 12-15, and two adult chaperones, arrived at the Syracuse International Airport on Saturday, July 21 and connected with host families from all corners of New York State the next day. The Japanese youth will stay with the host families who have a child the same age until August 17. The Japanese delegates departed from Syracuse on Sunday, July 22nd after an arrival and welcome event with the host families at the Embassy Suites in Syracuse. The host families are located in 14 NYS Counties from Western NY, the Finger Lakes region, the Adirondacks and the Hudson Valley.

The Leifer family, from Livingston, is hosting the junior chaperone for the group, Honoka Senda. The family, consisting of mom and dad Dorothee and Eric, and their four children – Emma, Isa, Nora and Henrick, are all active in the local 4-H club program. Dorothee is a project leader and the kids are all members of the Wilderness Workers 4-H Club. The Leifer’s have hosted 4-H Japanese Exchange students a number of times, and find it enriching for their family every time.

The Leifer’s especially enjoy immersing their Japanese student in their own family and home life. Honoka has been busy in the garden, helping to sell veggies at the farmer’s market, collecting freshly laid chicken eggs, and having fun with her new “sisters and brother” as well as all their friends.

The New York State program is supported by a National nonprofit organization affiliated with 4-H called States’ 4-H International, based in Seattle Washington. States’ 4-H International works with 4-H programs in nearly 30 States to coordinate inbound and outbound cultural exchanges ranging from one month to 10 months between 4-H youth and youth from Japan, South Korea, Norway, Costa Rica and many more countries. The one month summer Japanese program is providing an opportunity for nearly 700 Japanese youth to experience life in the United States this summer. For more information on the program please visit


Honoka Senda, 4-H Japanese Exchange Student, is flanked by two of her host sisters, Isa and Nora Leifer.

Honoka and Nora helped to arrange the 4-H display that was at the Greene County Youth Fair in late July.

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