By Brandon Selistyo
August 5, 2022, at 4:45 p.m
Friendship comes in many forms and can come from anywhere, with bonds that remain strong regardless of place and time. For Zoë Altizer, it came from the AMIS Amigo International Friendship program.
Zoë is currently a third-year student at Georgia Tech. However, she was only in first grade when she met her family’s first Amigo, Kexin. She was a Georgia Tech graduate student who was introduced to them through AMIS’s Amigo Friendship program in 2009.
She described Kexin as someone vibrant and full of energy, and they often would poke fun at each other. Around that time, Kexin met Xueliang, another Georgia Tech graduate student, and all together, they created many lasting memories.
“We spent many Thanksgivings, Christmases, and meals together,” said Zoë, “We went to Six Flags when Georgia Tech hosted Six Flags Night.”
Photo of Zoë (middle) with Kexin (left) and Xueling (right) in 2011.
Soon, Kexin and Xueliang married, and Zoë’s family decided to do something special for them. Zoë explained the young couple had a courthouse marriage, but she and her family wanted it to be known to the world. So, using car markers, the family drew “JUST MARRIED” all over the newlywed’s Honda Civic before they drove to Seattle to start their new jobs.
They continued to keep in touch through messaging and Christmas cards, but over 10 years have passed since Zoë had last seen Kexin and Xueliang. However, that changed this past summer when she flew to Seattle and reunited with her old Amigo friends.
“It was such a joy finally meeting their kids and seeing them again,” said Zoë.
Even after a long time, they picked up where they left off. Like reunited family members, they spent their time playing PokemonGo, eating meals, and exploring attractions such as Discovery Park, Kerry Park, Bellevue, and International District. Fortunately, their friendship remained the same.
Photo of Altizer, Kexin, and her two Photo of Kexin and her family.
children in 2022.
Altizer has now signed up to be an Amigo volunteer and has a student friend of hers, and they are both planning to go to an Atlanta United soccer game. A new friendship begins again, in a different form and place, but, hopefully, building a bond just as strong as her old Amigos friends.
“This (story) sounds like a poster board story for the Amigo Program,” Altizer laughed, “But I’m so thankful to have made lifelong friends like this.”
You can make a life-long friendship through the Amigo program! Learn more about the amigo program on our Website. Link below