Our History

.: 2003

January, 2003
At an Executive Board meeting Ukraine students was discussed. Some changes were made to the Application Form in the hopes of reducing possible problems in the future. For example: “Students shall not smoke, use alcohol or any drugs except prescription ones. Students may not work, the law forbids it.”

February, 2003
Student grades continue to be of some concern and the students told their teachers that the grades would improve. OPEN will host interns for IRIS and will conduct a “Welcome” reception. The OPEN sign at both entrances to Newton is still a problem.

March, 2003
A campaign is underway in Smila to recruit students for next year. Tanya Yarmish of Smila Lyceum will conduct the English test for the new students. IRIS expects a group from the country of Georgia and the intern sites are finalized.

April, 2003
Newton Senior High School principal has sent a letter to us regarding rules for exchange students. There was nothing we could not live with. Their rules are similar to ours. OPEN contributed an additional $200 to Sister City International.

May, 2003
We were informed that a healthy increase is forthcoming from SCI. The have hired AYUSA to administer their visa application process. Cost next year will be $650.

June, 2003
OPEN hosted a group of interns from the country of Georgia. We continue to find a way to ship computers to Ukraine.  OPEN continues to sponsor the “Student Art Project”. OPEN agreed to sent $1,000 to the Lyceum for building repairs.

July, 2003
Documents have been sent for next year’s students. The students need to get their visas as soon as possible. Plans are now finalized for the shipment of the computers. IRIS and Vladimir Bassis are working on this with volunteers from OPEN.

August, 2003
It was reported that the “Student Art Project” was successful this year. We continue to try to get a cooperative web site between Newton High School and the Smila Lyceum completed. Highlights card for this year was completed.

September, 2003
One student has to return to the embassy in Kiev to obtain a visa. IRIS reports they need assistance for some groups they will be hosting this year. Several OPEN members attended the Ukrainian Independence celebration in Chicago.

October, 2003
This years students missed the first week of school here in Newton due to the requirements of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. OPEN will assist IRIS’ affiliate company  “Global Ventures” in scheduling a Korean student with a company in Newton. OPEN Highlight card is ready.

November, 2003
The Annual Meeting was held on November 9th. Consuls were invited from their Chicago offices. The Newton Daily News is giving OPEN a good coverage in our effort to increase donors’ participation. The new Newton Mayor will visit our next meeting. A Newton Teacher (Tori Reynolds) has agreed to go to Smila Lyceum for one month.

December, 2003
Students are continuing to do well in Newton High School. State Senator Dennis Black and State Representative Paul Bell reported on their visit with the officials of WuChi, one of our sister cities. The city of Newton in financial crisis has withdrawn financial aid to OPEN.