The annual Ameson Year in China (AYC) Send-Off Reception for incoming AYC Educational Ambassadors (EAs) took place on August 5, 2017 at the Ameson Foundation Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The event provided an opportunity to congratulate incoming program participants while offering advice for their upcoming year teaching English in China. The audience was made up of incoming EAs and their families, AYC alumni, members of the media, Ameson staff, and distinguished guests from the community.
Attendees watch an introduction to AYC video, created by Mackey Landy.
The reception began with a delicious catered lunch. Mr. Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the Ameson Foundation, and Ms. Kelly Flaherty, Marketing & Recruiting Coordinator, opened the program with welcoming remarks and an introduction to the Ameson Foundation. The event featured two accomplished guest speakers, Ms. Madelyn Ross and Mr. Gao Qing. Ms. Ross is Director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office and Associate Director of SAIS China, which is part of Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced and International Studies. She reflected on her experience as a young person in China and encouraged the incoming EAs to get outside of their comfort zones to take full advantage of their year in China. Mr. Gao is Executive Director of the Confucius Institute US Center and Director of the Confucius Institute at George Mason University. His speech centered on the unique experiences that AYC participants bring back to their communities and recommended Confucius Institutes around the country as an excellent resource for finding opportunities to return to China. Both speakers offered invaluable insight and wisdom for EAs seeking to make the most of their time with AYC.
Ms. Flaherty (left) moderates the alumni panel. Mr. Zhu Xiao Di delivers closing remarks.
A highlight of the reception was the AYC alumni panel consisting of Ms. Danielle Johnson (’13-’14), Mr. Billy Vazquez (’15-’16), and Mr. David Mullis (’16-’17). The question and answer session, moderated by Ms. Flaherty, took questions from audience members as well questions gathered in advance from incoming EAs that were unable to attend the reception. Mr. Zhu Xiao Di, Deputy Director of the Ameson Foundation, closed the program with his well wishes for the incoming cohort. The first group of EAs this year will arrive in Shanghai for orientation on August 14th. AYC continues to provide an excellent opportunity for recent graduates to teach, learn, and live in China while truly making a difference in their lives and the lives of their students and school communities. We wish them the best as they embark on this exciting adventure!