New York Host Families

The Washington Ireland Program (WIP) is currently recruiting Host Families for our new initiative in New York. Read on below to find out more about WIP and the Host Family experience.

If you think you would like to be a part of this exciting new venture, click on the link below to express your interest by Friday 23rd February.

WHAT IS WIP?
Vision WIP’s vision is for a peaceful Northern Ireland and Ireland where there are mutually supportive and constructive relationships between and within all communities.

Mission WIP’s mission is to develop, support and engage generations of leaders who can build and sustain these relationships. We achieve this by:

• Identifying young leaders, and developing their leadership skills and values set

• Building a network of leaders from across all communities in Northern Ireland and Ireland

• Creating opportunities for our network of leaders and influencers to learn from those who have led in their own communities, spheres and industries

• Convening leaders from across the network to develop ideas and catalyze actions to address the major challenges facing Northern Ireland and Ireland

WHO MAKES UP A WIP CLASS?
The WIP class consists of thirty Irish and Northern Irish students from very different backgrounds. They come from every part of the island of Ireland and are all currently students (undergraduate or post-graduate) between the ages of 19-30. The WIP students have shown significant leadership potential and have a strong  commitment to service. They are passionate, intelligent and motivated young people.
WHAT IS A HOST FAMILY?
WIP Host Families are an integral part of the summer program. The host families provide support, advice and a sense of home as the WIP students go through a challenging and rigorous program of personal and professional development. As we expand our program into New York, WIP looks forward to developing a strong community of host families in the city and hope that you are interested in being a part of this exciting new initiative.
WHO ARE THE WIP HOST FAMILIES ?

Host families come in all shapes and sizes; they can be single or married, and may include young children, older children, or no children at all. We ask that host families live in the NY metropolitan area within walking distance of public transportation, as the students are not allowed to drive.

DURING WHICH DATES DO WE NEED TO BE AVAILABLE?
Your home needs to be available for the eight-week summer program in New York, the  anticipated arrival date for the students is June 4th and their anticipated departure date is July 28th.

If you have other commitments or trips within that time, WIP will work closely with you to make alternative arrangements.

WHAT CAN HOST FAMILIES EXPECT FROM WIP?
  • Support from WIP staff throughout the student’s stay and the benefit of the program’s two decades of experience
  • If you are away at some point during the summer, WIP will place your student(s) with another host family
  • The chance to learn more about modern Northern Irish and Irish culture
  • An opportunity to be part of the development of the next generation of leaders in Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • A connection with the WIP community in the US,  Ireland, and Northern Ireland, and the chance to engage with program events and our speaker series.
  • Create memories and friendships that last a lifetime!
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS OF A HOST FAMILY?

As partners in this program, we ask that you provide the following to your student(s):

  • Welcome the student as a family member
  • Provide a safe and suitable home
  • Provide students with their own bed
  • Conduct a review of your “house rules” upon the student’s arrival
  • A supportive presence to mentor and encourage them
  • Meals or food for the students to prepare for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner
  • An environment that supports following the rules of the program
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS OF A WIP STUDENT?
  • To be culturally sensitive to the needs and expectations of the host family
  • To follow the host families household rules and contribute to family life
  • To attend all required program events
  • To work professionally and diligently at their work placements and attend work each day
  • To display a high standard of personal integrity in all aspects of the program
  • To work as leaders within the program to support its goals and enhance its reputation and effectiveness while they are in the U.S. and when they return home
  • To abide by the rules and spirit of the program.
WHAT MAKES A WIP SUMMER?
At the heart of the WIP experience is a two-month summer program, consisting of a professional work placement, an intensive leadership program, and a continuation of the students’ commitment to service. The summer program includes:

Work Placements – Participants are placed in offices for unpaid work placements for six weeks. We guarantee each student a work experience that creates challenges and develops new skills during their time in Washington.

Host Family and Culture – Participants live with American host families who provide a welcoming home, meals, friendship, and a chance to experience U.S. culture on a day-to- day basis.

Service – Participants will be split into small groups and partner with different organizations in the New York area to focus on issues that are also impacting Northern Ireland and Ireland, such as cross-community development, economic development, at-risk youth, accessing education for disadvantaged communities, and tolerance of others.

Town Halls, Debates and Discussions – Participants discuss critical issues impacting Northern Ireland and Ireland’s future, developing consensus and recommendations for addressing these issues.

Guest Speakers – Participants meet with politicians, journalists, entrepreneurs, community activists and other individuals and groups who shape U.S. culture and are leaders in their fields.

Active Learning – Opportunities to learn through role plays, visiting historical sites, going on the WIP retreat.

WIP Community – Getting to know the WIP community in New York and D.C. provides opportunities for personal growth and learning.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING A HOST FAMILY?
Host families are a key part of the cultural exchange aspect of the summer program; the students enjoy sharing stories and exploring cultural differences through conversations and experiences with their host families. WIP students really value the relationships that they build with host families and many form lifelong friendships. You will have the opportunity to develop a relationship with the island of Ireland’s brightest young leaders, participate in our discussions and talks, and join a vibrant community of WIP’s friends and supporters.

But don’t just take our word for it…

I have been a host mom every summer since 2001! All of my interns have been wonderful additions to my little family. I adore every one of them and now that I have a daughter, who is six, I love that we have an extended ‘family’ all over Ireland and Northern Ireland. I am passionate about the WIP’s mission because I appreciate that by helping, I am contributing to the peace process by fostering the education and life experiences of the next generation of leaders in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Megan Donnelly

WIP Host Family

We love interacting with the WIP students & staff and with the other host families. It has been such a blessing to us that we are thrilled to introduce our friends to the program and get them involved.
They become more than just guests staying with us for a couple of months. They become members of our family – hopefully for life. WIP’s leadership has a long-term vision for the program and plans to engage these emerging leaders long after their summer work placements are distant memories. 
Kevin and Marie Moran

WIP Host Family

More information is included in our Host Family Info Sheet :