here’s some hardships what our son, Finnish 17-years old boy, XXXX faced during his exchange year 2013-14 in Minnesota, Long Prairie (mostly about the area rep Rose Hawkins / ISE):
– XXXX took pictures at family Huttunen’s home (his first host-family), where the conditions were horrible and uninhabitable (some pictures attached). It’s irresponsible to send a teenager to conditions like that. Area rep Rose Hawkins (ISE) required to see the pictures in XXXX’s phone, and after that Rose told him to delete the pictures. XXXX deleted them like requested. Rose later claimed that the pictures were exaggerated and not from areas where XXXX would have had to live. The pictures were taken for example from the family’s bathroom, stairs (up and down), living room, moldy foods etc. We heard afterwards that the family was placed in the new exchange student (chinese girl)….
– Pickup from family Huttunen: We made a deal with Finnish organization that XXXX wouldn’t be blamed of the transfer, but still XXXX had to explain the family how he ”couldn’t live there because of his asthma”. In that situation XXXX had to sign a paper, which contents he doesn’t know. We have still not received for a copy of that paper….
– XXXX was travelling a week with Rose Hawkins in the State Fair, because he didn’t have any other place to go. Rose wanted to send XXXX to Wisconsin at this point. Although Melisa Brever found a host family from Minnesota, Long Prairie. Due to an unknown reason the family/alone living man wasn’t accepted as host family.
– Family Kleinschmidt (older couple) was willing to host XXXX. To be mentioned, Kleinschmidt’s and Rose’s kids are married, so that’s it about objectivity. Family Kleinschmidt gets a reward trip every year from Rose for hosting exchange students. Rose told XXXX that there are no other host families, and nobody else would have taken XXXX. So that XXXX needs to be grateful for Kleinschmidts because they’ve ”saved XXXX”. Later XXXX has heard from many people that there would have been other possible host families in that area (for example XXXX’s and XXXX’s families). Rose also told XXXX that he’s not allowed to be in any contact with the XXXX’s (including Finnish exchange student XXXX).
– Host parents (Family Kleinschmidt) went to bed about at 9 pm every night and woke up already at early hours. The host dad told XXXX and XXXX (the other exchange student in the same family) that if boys won’t spend more time with him, they won’t be welcome to the house anymore. Boys were pretty much on their own, and did a lot of chores in the whole house. Even if the boys were out to eat at night, the host parents’ dishes were left for them to do. XXXX had wished for more food, and he had to buy some extra snacks for himself.
– Coldness was a huge problem in the house. From December to February there was below +50F degrees upstairs, where the exchange students were sleeping. While sleeping XXXX had to wear a stocking hat, t-shirt, a shirt, a thick sweater, long underwear, sweatpants, socks, woolen socks, and 4 blankets.
– When we tried to tell about these problems around christmas time, the nightmare started. Monday January 13th Rose Hawkins leaves a message to the schools office, that after school XXXX gets picked up from the high school by Rose, and afterwards she would take XXXX to practice. First Rose drove XXXX to her house, where she yelled at XXXX and required to see all his messages and e-mails, that he had sent to us or the Finnish organization. Rose said that she would translate them. XXXX didn’t show them to Rose, so she claimed that XXXX is a liar and threatened to send him back to Finland. After that they went to the host family’s house where Rose told about ”XXXX’s home sickness, why he sent hasty messages to Finland”. Rose tried to pressure the host parents to prevent XXXX from playing hockey (”hockey shit” as Rose told them). The host parents didn’t want do this. Rose made XXXX sign a paper which said that everything is alright. The accurate contents XXXX doesn’t know because he wasn’t let to finish reading the paper. Rose didn’t take XXXX to practice as she promised.
– January 13th Colleen (the host mom) shows Rose a Facebook message, where I asked if everything was alright. Rose told XXXX that the message was fake propaganda. The day after XXXX had a game. When XXXX came home after midnight, he saw a note on the table, that he has to call Rose right away. XXXX called, and Rose told him to dress up and be ready so that she can pick him up. That night ( yes, in the middle of the night!) Rose picked up XXXX to her house. XXXX (the other exchange student) saw when XXXX left and came back, the host parents didn’t get to know about it till the morning after. Is this kind of action allowed in the rules or is it even legal?? Rose told XXXX to leave his cellphones in the car. The action was extremely organized and systematic. Rose yelled at XXXX that he had talked to his friend about bad living conditions. XXXX had to talk on the phone with some area representative from Wisconsin, who told XXXX that he has to do everything that Rose says. The area rep also said that XXXX is not allowed to talk anybody about his and Rose’s conversations. XXXX also had to sign a probation paper, where he confessed all his mistakes and that he was a liar, he had talked about things to the third party etc. Rose told XXXX that even a one little mistake and XXXX goes back to Finland. She also told XXXX that if he didn’t sign the paper, he would go back to Finland. XXXX had to apologize Rose because of his behavior.
– The hand-written part of student problem resolution wasn’t XXXX’s own text, Rose told the exact words what XXXX had to write. XXXX asked Rose what would happen if he disagreed and Rose said XXXX would get sent back. All the claims in the papers were written by Rose Hawkins and disagreeing was not an option. Consequences would have been familiar – getting sent back.
Conclusion: XXXX has been threatened, bashed, blamed, and casted a slur on several times by Rose Hawkins and about things he couldn’t affect on. Those things weren’t his fault. Rose has behaved very threateningly towards XXXX. Finland’s organization encouraged all the time to tell if something was wrong and every time we did it, Rose attacked against XXXX by blaming, bashing and threatening with sending him back to Finland. She has tried to get rid of him continuously. She’s supposed to be the trustworthy and supportive adult. Instead, she’s very sick, scary and unstable human-being who threatens and lies with no problems and who always turns out the things way that benefits her.
Nothing can fix XXXX’s exchange year anymore but our responsibility is to do our best so that no other exchange student would have to go through the same. Hope you can do something with this….