1990 | Small Roots, Big Dream

Thirty years ago, PAX was founded as a small force for good. The organization's first headquarters was in a private home. The dream was to enable both deserving young people from around the world and their U.S. host families to share not only their customs, language, and points of view, but also the very essence of what it means to be family. During the first years, the program brought a small number of Spanish high school students to the U.S., working one-on-one to ensure a powerful, cross-cultural learning experience.

1996 | Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, America reached out to the Newly Independent States in the form of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program, which promotes mutual understanding by providing high school students from Eurasia with the opportunity to live with American host families and attend U.S. high schools. For more than 25 years, PAX has had the honor of being selected each year by the U.S. Department of State to serve as a sponsor of FLEX students.

2003 | Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program

When Congress, following the attacks of September 11, 2001, established the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, PAX was one of the few organizations chosen to work with these scholarship students from countries with significant Muslim populations—and has ever since. From Indonesia to Pakistan, Nigeria to Suriname, host families and high schools alike are quick to note the impressiveness of these young people in particular.

2015 | PAX Merges with Laurasian Institution

After collaborating with Laurasian Institution (also founded 1990) for more than eight years, PAX - Program of Academic Exchange merged with the dynamic organization with expertise in Japan, China, and Korea. The united organization, PAX Laurasian Exchange, has since enjoyed knowhow in inbound and outbound, short and long-term, individual and group, J-1 and F-1 visas, elementary school through university student, and teacher and adult programs. Both PAX and Laurasian continue to operate programs under their original names.

Today | Same Dream, Greater Impact

PAX now serves nearly 1,000 participants each year from more than 70 countries, using the same values as that modest organization started in a private home. Along the way, the organization has added offices in Seattle and Tokyo. PAX maintains a mission-driven staff of 30, and enjoys a network of hundreds of committed volunteers and welcoming high schools throughout the U.S. To date, more than 25,000 students have successfully completed the PAX program.