By Cameron Rasmusson
The purchase of Quest Aircraft by Japanese conglomerate Setouchi Holdings is bearing cross-cultural fruit with a new student exchange program.
Thanks to the establishment of the Kambara Quest Foundation by Quest’s parent company in Hiroshima, Japan, 10 Japanese students are receiving an Idaho experience this week. And next week, 10 Sandpoint students will fly to Japan for some international travel of their own.
“Mr. Kambara, [Setouchi Holdings principal owner], talks about wanting to educate future generations,” said Susan Jordan, chief financial officer and vice president of administration for Quest. “The exchange program is something that he wanted to start, so that kids who wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to travel could do this.”
Sandpoint’s Japanese visitors should return home with plenty of new experiences to share. They’ve already visited Western Pleasure Guest Ranch and the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center. Later, they’ll check out summer activities at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, beach time at the lake and a Quest Aircraft tour before they depart Aug. 26.
As for Sandpoint students, the first year of the program restricted access to children in Quest Aircraft families. However, future years will broaden the program to all local students between 14 and 18 years old.
“It’s a very nice thing for the community,” Jordan said. “[Kambara] believes in doing good things.”
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