"I wanted to have a nice connection with her and to help keep her on the right track. I work at Skidmore so we took her over there and it was the first time she'd ever seen a college before. She was really excited about it and I think that's so great," said Simpson.
The chance to make a new relationship that could last for a lifetime is why Lynn Chertok became a host family eight years ago. Her Fresh Air child, QuashE Davis, formed a bond that first summer and has been coming back for two to 10 weeks ever since.
"I was really nervous but excited at the same time. My mom wanted me to see the different types of people I can know and expand the world more; now I know I can meet new people and not be shy every time like I was before. I can trust people," said Davis, 12 and from the Bronx.
Chertok has a 13-year-old daughter and said at first, there was a bit of sibling rivalry and jealousy between the girls. Now, Davis is part of the family.
"The girls knew that first trial was a two-week adventure and they had to make the best of it. Then they clicked and became the best of friends and still are now; they email and text all the time and we talk to [Davis] on the phone frequently," said Chertok.
Both the host family and the Fresh Air child take something away from the experience, said Chertok, who said she felt her home in Porter Corners was the perfect place to blend cultures.
"It's a lot of sharing of different views and ideas and seeing a different side of the world. We happen to practice the Jewish religion and [Davis] is Baptist so she interacts with our different families and religions," said Chertok. "We've been through it all together, from graduation parties to funerals."