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Kansas students travel the country to build social bridges with people from different backgrounds

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The American Exchange Project takes high school seniors to different parts of the country, including Dodge City, Ks., to experience different cultural, political and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Karlie DeFord
The American Exchange Project takes high school seniors to different parts of the country, including Dodge City, Kansas.

Kansas high school students are taking part in an exchange program that doesn't send them to a foreign country but instead sends them to a "foreign" town in the U.S., somewhere different from where they've grown up.

High school students in Lawrence and Dodge City, Kansas, have purposefully spent time building relationships with people from politically, culturally or socioeconomically different backgrounds.

Through the American Exchange Project, students spend one week in an unfamiliar town after graduation and also spend a week hosting incoming student participants.

"The whole idea is to learn a little bit more about people who share this country with us who are very different from us," said David McCullough III, the CEO and co-founder of the American Exchange Project.

  • David McCullough III, CEO and co-founder, American Exchange Project
  • Karlie DeFord, participant, American Exchange Project
  • Esai Valverde Estralla, participant, American Exchange Project
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