Each year, tens of thousand of Chinese kids onboard a plane and land somewhere in the United States. What would happen to these kids, a.k.a. “parachute kids” after years’ expensive private education, is a great mystery to many, including their parents. They could struggle and suffer and even end up going to prison if they are left all alone by themselves, or become next generation leaders in China with proper support, love and care.
As an innovator and a leader in the study abroad market specialized in K-12, PREP has developed a unique approach to integrate Christian schools, Christian families and enrichment programs designed to develop our students to a whole person with character and capacity to impact the world.
Our model can be summarized as 1A, 3T, 4D and 5C.
1A: one single accountability
In our model, PREP serves as the single accountability point to the students and their parents. PREP team consists of bilingual, multicultural experts who are at the best position to lead and support our partners to serve our students and their parents. The service starts with PREP and ends with PREP. We hold the key to the success of our students.
This doesn’t downplay the importance of our many partners including schools and host families. They are an integral part of our model but PREP serves as the umbrella organization, providing vision, structure and support and leads the whole process.
This is a huge responsibility with underlined liability that PREP doesn’t take it lightly. We care and love our students and will always act in their best interests. That’s why our partner schools wouldn’t choose to work with another agency to maintain the integrity of their international student program. And that’s why our parents would trust PREP to take care of their precious children.
3T: a triangle relationship
In our model, the natural parent, host family and PREP form the core operating unit for each student. The success of our student hinges on the maturity and stability of this relationship. If students see that the three parental parties united around the same goal, they will have a much easier time to adapt into their American life, focus on their study and start to form a new identify centered around Jesus Christ.
Although PREP doesn’t forbid the communication between the natural parents and host families, it’s the best interest of everybody for PREP to facilitate such communication, due to complex cultural difference and language barrier. PREP holds video conference regularly with the natural parent and host family and sometimes even the student to discuss and resolve issues.
4D: a process of life transformation
PREP’s mission is to change lives, yet life transformation is a process and doesn’t just happen in classroom. At PREP, we embrace the idea of four dynamics of transformation: Spiritual, Relational, Experiential and Instructional. This process, when using intentionally, will create lasting impact on our students and take their education experience to the next level.
5C: a youth development model
PREP utilizes a leadership development framework called 5C that is widely used in Christian ministry to develop worldwide Christian leaders.
The 5Cs are Christ, Community, Calling, Character and Competence. Unlike typical education agencies focus almost all their energy on competence, PREP believes a healthy and strong youth can only be developed in this well rounded approach.
Each PREP student has a personal assessment on the 5C dimensions when they enter the program. Guided by PREP staff members, they will develop their own school year plan. The action plan is specific, measurable and challenging for them to achieve. The plan is shared with their parents and host parents and reviewed regularly.
The 1A, 3T, 4D and 5C establish the basic structure and lay the foundation of the PREP model. We are confident that our model is the most effective to serve our students and parents, to transform lives and to bring glory to God. We feel by focusing on the “parachute kids”, we have a golden opportunity to shine lights of Jesus Christ and witness to them for many years when they are in our program. Our prayer then, it’s God would take our efforts and bless these children and their families and bring them into His Kingdom in his sovereign will and perfect timing.
We are in the process to expand our model to more cities, and currently we are working with 8 schools in Austin, Texas and 1 school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you are a private Christian school looking for a partner to reach out to Chinese students, give us a call and we will be happy to discuss!read more