Pupils to visit Australia as student ambassadors
The program is designed to foster peace through understanding.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Nearly 70 area school-age children will travel to Australia this summer as part of the 2006 People to People Student Ambassador Program.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the program established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to create peace through understanding by having young people spend some time in foreign lands.
Gary Reel, a retired teacher from Austintown and a primary leader in the program, said groups went to Spain, Italy and France in a three-week trip last year, and groups went to the British Isles in 2004.
The participants, ranging from fifth through the 12th grade, stay in homes in the host country, do school visits, perform community services and participate in diplomatic briefings with mayors and governors, Reel said.
The participants will be split into three groups with fifth- and sixth-graders traveling in one unit, seventh- and eighth-graders traveling together and ninth- through 12th-graders traveling as one unit.
The cost is about $5,500 per pupil, and the participants must raise that money themselves through various forms of fund raising, including seeking financial sponsors from among local businesses and individuals.
The units began holding meetings once a month in January to prepare for the trip, which is slated for June.
Children must be selected to participate through an interview process. They can be nominated by former trip alumni, their schools or civic groups. They also must present letters of recommendation from adults.
Area children making the trip and their home schools are:
NINTH-12TH GRADE: Brianna Jennings, Austintown Fitch; Dawnelle Jewell, Joseph Badger; Brittany Cerimele and Carrie Spiese, Boardman; David Constas, Canfield; Brittany Crawford, Champion; Ashley Macklin, Chaney; Trenton Hatherill and Jacqueline Hatherill, Columbiana; Evan Brothers, Crestview; Rachel Blystone and Sam Giambroni, East Liverpool; Tori Powell and Erin Reese, East Palestine; Joy James and Christopher McGuckin, Farrell, Pa.; Gary Bass and Samantha Maloy, Girard; Robbie Limberg and Shelby Limberg, Grove City, Pa.; Marissa McCourt, Brittney Walsh and Stephany Rose, home schooled; Kayla Doss, Hubbard; Chelsea Charles, Kennedy Catholic, Hermitage; Rebecca Ryan, Leetonia; and Julian Curtis, Liberty; Megan Harris, Lowellville; Bryan Alexander, Niles; Jacqui Hayden, Salem; Ashley Dudley, Desiree Evanson and Kassandra Holden, Struthers; Jessica Saksa, United; Ashley Oliver, Warren Harding; Eric Grounds, Warren JFK; Tim Hoffman, West Middlesex; Brandon Barnes, West Branch; and Richard Shaver, Western Reserve.
SEVENTH-EIGHTH GRADE: Lauren Bartelmay, Immaculate Heart of Mary; Taylor Dugan, Jackson-Milton; Ryan Fitzsimmons, Dena Tufaro and Nectarios Georgopoulos, Liberty; Tyler Fountain, West Branch; Max Horne, Bryanna Jay and Patrick O'Neill, Girard; Emily Householder and Trista Sturgeon, Beaver; Chris McCullough, Niles; Jessica Miletta, Struthers; Marissa Parm, Youngstown Christian; Hannah Payton, St. Mary & amp; Joseph; Kayla Wright, McDonald; Nickie Talbott, Southern; Leanna Sexton, Brookfield; Connor Sewickley, Campbell; and Kyle Rogers, St. Nicholas.
FIFTH-SIXTH GRADE: Kayla Ferry, Mathews; John Gallagher, Warren; Sean Hayward, Mercer; Caleb Johnson and Jacob Smith, LaBrae; Rachel Mason, East Liverpool; Charlene McGuire, West Branch; Mike Pallotta and Mike Sorice, Canfield.