Inaugural Gala to Launch New Scholarship, Financial Aid Program as YFU Returns its Headquarters to Nation's Capital

Hon. Laurie S. Fulton, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.) & Trevor Gunn, Medtronic Managing Director of International Relations, to co-host evening fundraising reception and gala dinner


WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of the organization's return to Washington, DC, YFU USA will host its first-ever gala celebration on Saturday, October 11 to inaugurate a new scholarship and financial aid program to ensure that more Americans can study abroad in the next decade. Led by Ambassador (Ret.) Laurie S. Fulton, a member of YFU's Board of Trustees, and Trevor Gunn, Managing Director of International Relations for the Medtronic Corporation, the evening cocktail reception and dinner gala will be held at YFU's new national headquarters at the historic Wonder Bread Factory in downtown Washington, DC. YFU Trustees, staff, alumni, volunteers and special friends will celebrate the organization's rich history and toast to a re-energized future. Proceeds from the event will help to establish the YFU Financial Aid Fund, helping to provide need-based scholarships for YFU's Study Abroad program so that all students have the opportunity of a transformative exchange experience.

Occupying nearly 32,000 sq. ft., YFU's new headquarters offers an easily accessible location in the heart of the nation's capital. The centerpiece of the new space is a dynamic new Education Center, where student orientations and volunteer training sessions as well as community and alumni events will be hosted. YFU will also welcome three new sub-tenants including YFU International Educational Services, the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC, and Atlas Corps

"YFU has a rich legacy built on more than six decades of excellence in cultural exchange, but we must continue to develop and expand our programs to provide the best possible experiences and opportunities," said Michael E. Hill, YFU's President & CEO. "Our move to a dynamic new site in DC puts us back in close proximity to important influencers and provides a facility that allows us to serve students, volunteers and alumni in ways we've not been able to in recent years. In today's world, the principles of youth exchange are as relevant as ever, which is why it was important to YFU staff and our Board of Trustees not only to re-introduce a YFU presence in the DC area but to celebrate this transition by establishing a Financial Aid Fund. This fund will ensure students from all backgrounds have the ability to experience the life-long value of intercultural exchange."

Fundraising Gala

When: Saturday, October 11, 2014
          6:00pm: Cocktails & Hors d'oeuvres
          7:00pm: Dinner & Program

Where: YFU National Headquarters
           641 S Street NW
           Washington, DC 20001

Individual tickets are priced at $250 for the event, a portion of which is tax-deductible. To learn more about the gala and to purchase tickets, visit Table and Corporate Sponsorship packages are available. For more information, contact Nick Brennan at or 240.235.2177.

Those unable to attend, who would like to make a donation to the YFU Financial Aid Fund can do so at:

"You don't have to be from a rich family or a big city to exchange to any country you want. I don't come from any of those, and YFU helped me fulfill a long dream of mine to be an exchange student."  – Ashley, YFU Alum from South Dakota & Scholarship Recipient to Japan

The day before the fundraising gala, YFU will open the doors of their new Education Center to YFU alumni, volunteers, international educators, and other special guests for an interactive exploration of YFU's rich history and bright future as a leading force in intercultural understanding. A distinguished panel of alumni will share their YFU experiences and engage in a lively discussion, moderated by Michael Hill, YFU President & CEO. Following the panel, guests will move upstairs to the YFU offices for an Open House event to explore the new headquarters.

Open House

When: Friday, October 10, 2014
          4:00pm – 5:30pm: Panel Discussion/Presentation
          5:30pm – 7:30pm: Open House Reception

Where: YFU National Headquarters
           641 S Street NW
           Washington, DC 20001

Alumni Panelists:

  • Katherine Brown – Executive Director of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy
  • Trevor Gunn – Managing Director of International Relations, Medtronic Corporation
  • Florencia Paz Cazzaniga – Senior Research Assistant, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Michele Peters – Special Advisor, Education & Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Andrew Towne – JD/MBA Candidate at University of Pennsylvania & YFU Board of Trustees External Affairs Committee Chair

To RSVP for the panel discussion and/or the Open House, please email

Media interested in learning more or attending any of the events may contact Alicia Kubert Smith at

About YFU

Youth For Understanding (YFU) advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 60 different countries, is united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society. Selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange program, YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs for more than 60 years because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services.

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YFU's sub-tenants:

YFU Open House:


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