I founded the Borderless Friends Forever Foundation (BFF) because of my passion for international education, a passion born on a whim. In August of 2006, my life changed forever when my family and I decided to host Karolin from Germany. Little did I know then, but my journey was about to take an unexpected turn.
Karolin brought with her something extraordinary that changed me. It wasn’t a gift I needed to open but one to which I needed to be open. She came with a curiosity and an excitement that renewed my world. Everything I did became new again because she had never seen it, done it, or heard it. It made me see my world with fresh eyes. Even a trip to the grocery store suddenly seemed exciting!
With this excitement came possibility. I became intrigued by the relationship between the host family and an exchange student. Letting our sweet KK return to Germany was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do. It became evident that the only way to survive the “loss” was to host again. Enter Christopher, also from Germany—similarly, a lovely experience, albeit different. Chris is an amazing young man with much to offer to the world, and he taught me so much about myself.
Well, I was hooked, and my family graciously jumped on board with my passion, and we have now hosted 35 exchange students. Twenty-one of these beautiful people; Karolin, Christopher, Mon, Kike, Noemi, John, Seung Ju, Nora, Yvan, Rubens, Gabi, Maki, Niki, Aliah, Xhoni, Ali, Andi, Daniel, and Joan have been with us for an entire school year, while many others were here for short-term programs. We have recently added Bartu and Omar to our sizeable international family, and they are enjoying their stay with us. These kids have changed our lives, and we are eternally grateful that their families shared them with us!
Through my journey, I have helped many families and students have the same and helped create relationships I know will last a lifetime. As much as I’ve enjoyed my students, I have equally appreciated meeting so many wonderful host families like you, who have opened their hearts and homes to students! I am thrilled to welcome you to this beautiful experience and encourage you to make the best of your time with your students. It will go by quickly!
In addition to all the wonderful students and families that have touched my life, I am equally lucky to know a team of dedicated professionals who constantly strive to ensure these students’ safety and well-being. These folks are tirelessly dedicated to their students and host families. They understand our mission, believe in what we do, and are proud to be a part of this unique experience. I am proud to know them and even more proud to call them part of my team!
This passion, created by this beautiful journey, has allowed me to create Borderless Friends Forever. I am incredibly excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Thank you for taking this journey with me.
Crystal Allis, BFF Executive Director