Dear Ms. Melofchik, Ms. Dickerson, Ms. Findlay, Ms. Martin and Ms. Lawrence:
Please be advised that ASSE International participant Ravee Suksawat remains in Tennessee without a permanent host family; and remains without a high school to attend.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilburn of Knoxville, Tennessee have hosted Ravee Suksawat for the ESL program and have grown very fond of him.
ASSE International provided Mrs. Wilburn the contact information for Ravee’s next host family for the academic year; a Larry and Janifer Bell of Penokee, Kansas.
On Sept. 1, 2007, Mrs. Wilburn telephoned Mrs. Bell to introduce herself and confirm that Ravee would be on a flight from Tennessee to Kansas departing at 5:44 am the following morning.
Mrs. Bell responded to Mrs. Wilburn that she didn’t know that she and her husband had been accepted, assigned a student to host – or anything. This concerned Mrs. Wilburn who contacted her local ASSE coordinator Ms. Amber Wallen. Ms. Wallen suggested that Mrs. Wilburn of Tennessee telephone CSFES.
Mrs. Wilburn decided against Ravee boarding the flight to Kansas the following morning.
I would like to provide you with the following contact information:
Mrs. Theresa Wilburn: 865-922-1858 Tennessee
Mrs. Janifer Bell: 785-421-4118 Kansas
Mrs. Wilburn spoke with Laura Johnson of ASSE International of California. Mrs. Johnson’s focus was how long ASSE has been in business. Mrs. Johnson’s focus was how “very reputable” ASSE is” and finally, Mrs. Johnson’s response to Mrs. Wilburn was, “I don’t know why Mrs. Bell said that.”
Kansas’ ASSE area representative, Mr. Ron Fontenot can be reached at 785-737-4951. It is Mr. Fontenot whose name is listed at Ravee’s ASSE area representative on the ASSE Host Family Placement Form.
When I spoke with Mr. Fontenot; his response was that ASSE’s Valerie Kampfer (785) 266-2715 tells him that ‘this is the way it is supposed to be done.’
While these ASSE representatives appear to focus the blame on the neighboring ASSE representative, the fact remains that Ravee continues to live in Tennessee without a permanent host family or secured high school to attend.
Ravee has contacted his mother in Thailand. She paid $300 for Ravee to fly to Kansas and also concerned.
Thank you for your immediate attention that this matter deserves.
Danielle Grijalva, Director
Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students
P.O. Box 6496 / Oceanside, CA 92052
www.csfes.org / 866-471-9203