Route J-1


Celebrating J-Day 2015: Eat. Play. Give.

Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 at 5:56 pm.

For the past few years, a number of sponsors across the country, in partnership with the Alliance, have encouraged their participants to take a whole day – or even a few hours – and participate in something bigger than all of us, giving back while having fun. Called, “J Day”, it has become a tradition, and is a part of the broader emphasis on cultural activities within the Summer Work Travel program. Yesterday, people across the country used the hashtags #CelebrateJDay and #eatplaygive and showed us some of the amazing ways J-1 participants impact U.S. communities.

First, my colleagues Grace Cho and Michael James stopped by J Day activities at the Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The day began with a scavenger hunt organized that encouraged participants to spread throughout the amusement park and to explore the different rides and games..

First, my colleagues Grace Cho and Michael James stopped by J Day activities at the Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The day began with a scavenger hunt organized that encouraged participants to spread throughout the amusement park and to explore the different rides and games.

Caption: Before they said goodbye, the participants dropped off donations of canned goods that will benefit Help4Kids, an organization that provides free meals to low-income children in Horry County, South Carolina.

Caption: Before they said goodbye, the participants dropped off donations of canned goods that will benefit Help4Kids, an organization that provides free meals to low-income children in Horry County, South Carolina.

In Virginia Beach, sponsor InterExchange Work & Travel arranged for participants to help package meals for non-profit Stop Hunger Now. The goal was to package 10,000 meals – and they exceeded it!

In New York City, J-1 participants came out with sponsor Cultural Vistas to enjoy the day while cleaning up Riverside Park.

One of the highlights for participants in the Washington, DC area is the GreenHeartCCI Lifeguard Olympics, which we wrote about in detail last year.

In Tennessee, J-1 participants brought donated canned goods, then enjoyed a day at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium with sponsor Spirit Cultural Exchange.

…And there were so many more. From Cape Cod, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California, sponsors and participants across the country made J Day a success. J Day is about celebrating the exchange visitors who enrich our local communities each year.  They not only bring the world to our hometowns and boost our local economies – but also give back to our communities in meaningful ways.

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

About G. Kevin Saba

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange


G. Kevin Saba serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, he oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings around 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States annually to teach, study, and build skills. He is the Director for the Policy and Program Support Division in ECA’s Office of Private Sector Exchange.

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