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Two local students planning summer trips with People to People program

Two fifth grade students from Tyrone Area Middle School will be traveling around the world this summer if everything goes according to plan and the pair is eager to share their stories, as they expand their world knowledge in preparation for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Sarah Wilson and Chance Burke will participate in the People to People program, allowing them to travel and learn about other areas and other cultures.
Last year, Sarah’s brother Simon traveled with the program to California. He had the opportunity to go to China in 2009 but said, “It’s Sarah’s turn to experience this great program and learning experience.” He said he had a lot of fun and knows she will too.
Sarah and Chance will spend 15 days exploring the Australian countryside, from the ocean and beaches to caves and major cities.
However, both need to raise enough funds before they’re able to make their journey.
The total cost for this trip is $6,239. While it might seem expensive at first, the total cost includes all meals, flights, accommodations – everything needed – with the exception of spending money.
The total price even includes insurance which covers expenses to fly in parents should a traveler become sick or unable to return home.
The Wilson and Burke families are planning a variety of fundraisers to help with the cost.
Sarah will continue where her brother left off, collecting aluminum cans, ink cartridges and cell phones. All of these items will be recycled and the money put towards the trip. Pick-up arrangements can be made by calling 686-0402. The family is also encouraging local bars to consider donating cans for a period of time, to help raise money.
Both Sarah and Chance are planning a letter fund drive, a dance, car washes and a spaghetti supper. They are also selling Sheetz coupons for MTOs. The coupons are $4 each and include a choice of any six inch sub, burger, chicken sandwich, deli sandwich, nachos, salad, wrap, melt, panini, quesadilla, two slices of pizza, two hot dogs, or one deli dog, plus any size fizz city fountain drink or self serve coffee. Anyone interested in purchasing coupons can contact Kim at 686-0402 or Vickie at 684-2241.
Any business or individual can make a donation directly to the students by sending a check or money order to the students, made payable to People to People Student Ambassadors.
Donations for Sarah Wilson can be sent to 1501 Logan Ave., Tyrone, Pa. 16686.
Donations to Chance Burke can be sent to 204 Shippen St., Tyrone, Pa. 16686.
Payments are made in installments and while the exact dates of the trips are unknown at this point – they have to wait until all participating schools let out for summer break – the final payments will be due in April or May. The trip will be held in June or July.
People to People Ambassador Programs provides international travel opportunities for grade school, middle school and high school students.
Students journey in delegations of 30-40 Ambassadors led by experienced local educators.
Student Ambassadors experience hands-on learning opportunities and immerse themselves in the arts, sports and family life of cultures around the world.
Each delegation participates in four pre-departure orientation meetings in order to get to know fellow Student Ambassadors and their families.
In addition, participants can earn transferable high school and college credits that can help build a college admissions resumé.
The program was started in 1956, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower called a special White House conference of American leaders. Eisenhower believed that ordinary citizens of different nations, if able to communicate directly, would solve their differences and find a way to live in peace. In 1956, he put those beliefs into action, creating the People to People Ambassador Programs.
In order to participate in the People to People program, students must be nominated. They then take part in an interview to determine if they are ready to participate in the program.
Sarah was nominated for the program by her brother, but Chance on the other hand is unsure of who nominated him.
Nominations can come from various sources such as teachers or other People to People ambassadors. Some students can also qualify through test scores.
Both Sarah and Chance are excited about their upcoming trip.
Chance said he would love to see a Koala on his journey. Both seemed excited for a trip to the Steve Irwin Zoo and a sledding adventure on the sand.
People to People is a great program and recognizes students for the academic achievement. It is a great honor to be nominated and participate in such a journey. The Wilson and Burke families are hoping the community will step up and help Sarah and Chance on their amazing adventure.