Soddy Daisy Family Hosts Exchange Student From China

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Kobet family from Soddy Daisy had never thought about hosting an exchange student until the 4th of July when they received a call from STS foundation local coordinator, Mika McCoy. Their son, Jack, is in the marching band at Soddy Daisy High School, and they were matched with “Tom” from China who has been playing trombone for 6 years. Because of his history with the trombone, he was suggested to the Kobets.   Now both of the Kobet “boys” are gearing up to play in Soddy Daisy’s marching band this year. Tom arrived in Chattanooga on Friday, the 19th, and on Monday he was on the field in band camp.

Tom is from Wuxi, China, one of Chattanooga’s Sister Cities.  Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy.  Eisenhower envisioned an organization that could be the hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.  Sister Cities International creates relationships based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges, creating lifelong friendships that provide prosperity and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.”

Jackie, his host mom, says it’s been “an exciting few days.”  Tom missed the first week of preparation for the band, so he had some catching up to do.  Jackie said, “it was difficult trying to overcome the language barrier.”  However, yesterday (Tuesday) was a much better day:  Tom was able to get some one-on-one tutoring from a former band student on the basics of marching---how to hold the instrument, how to place feet, etc.  Now, Jackie says the  band teacher  said “he looks better than some of the students who have been there for awhile.”

Tom’s English is very good, according to  Jackie, and he’s enjoying trying new foods.  He wants to cook  some of his homeland’s traditional foods for his host family soon.

 STS Foundation is currently seeking families like the Kobets, who will open their home to an international teenager.  Host families are asked to provide room and board – including 3 meals per day, reasonable transportation and a loving/nurturing environment for the students.  Students come with their own health insurance and  monies for clothing, incidentals, entertainment and travel. 

STS Foundation (Student, Travel, Study) is a not-for-profit organization that places international high-school-age students with host families.  For more information about how to become a host family, call the regional office at 866/425-4678.



Electrical Maintenance, No Longer A Man’s Field

Sequoyah High School students Cheyenne Laws and Hallie Ragsdale are getting a taste of what college is like while still enrolled in high school. The high school seniors are enrolled in the electrical maintenance program at Cleveland State Community College’s Monroe County Center.  “I don’t know if they realized completely what they were getting into being high school ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State's Dinner Of Firsts Raises $70K For Scholarships

Chattanooga State’s Dinner of Firsts 2017 had net proceeds for the event totaling more than $70,000, with $50,000 earmarked for the inaugural Tom Edd Wilson First in the Family Endowed Scholarship and $20,000 to the annual First in the Family Scholarship. This sixth annual dinner event honored local community leader and philanthropist Patsy Hazlewood, with Reggie Piercy serving ... (click for more)

Cliftina Jones Charged In Death Of Orange Grove Center Client, Whose Body Was Found In Van

A Chattanooga woman has been charged in the death of an Orange Grove Center client whose body was found April 18 at an Orange Grove residence. Cliftina K. Jones, 60, was indicted by a Hamilton County Grand Jury on a charge of criminally negligent homicide. Police said at the time there was no sign of trauma on the body of 60-year-old Carrie Lee Parkey. S taff at ... (click for more)

Multiple Callers Said Man Who Tried To Rape Woman At MLK Neighborhood Was "Tom"

After police on Wednesday released clear photos of a man who tried to tried to rape a woman in the MLK Neighborhood, multiple callers said it was "Tom" who works at Amazon. The victim then picked Thomas Lee Carr out of a photo lineup as her assailant. He is charged with attempted rape. The woman said on Tuesday just before noon she was followed into the complex where she ... (click for more)

Technology: The Virtual Drug

The truth is you're probably reading this on a mobile device or your computer. As a matter of fact, I’m typing this down on a MacBook Pro. The point is technology is everywhere. It engulfs like a tsunami engulfs a village, only a few ever escape. In fact, it took me two hours to start this paper because I was so hypnotized by phone, checking my Instagram and seeing what the next ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Lesbian’s Daddy

I’ve always held the belief that things work out for the best. Oh, I’ve been in some tights where I couldn’t see the forest for the trees but, in the up-and-down life I have lived, I’ve found that God doesn’t make mistakes. If I’ll just hold on long enough, no matter how bad the circumstances, something good will happen. It always does. One of the best examples I have seen lately ... (click for more)