August 5, 2013

Ambassador program seeks youth for trip to Mediterranean

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star


The People to People Ambassador Program is looking for 9th through 12th grade students to go on a 20 day trip through Italy, Sicily and Greece. 

The trip will include a home stay with a family from these countries that has a child in the same age group as the student ambassador. 

They will attend school with the student and be able to appreciate cultural differences as well as get a taste of what is going on beyond U.S. borders, Pam Mindemann said. 

"It's the most wonderful organization I've ever been with," Mindemann, who will be attending her fourth year this summer. Mindemann is a public school teacher in Lawton. She said she has been trying to get more students in the Chickasha and Anadarko area involved in the program. 

The students will go on a "city quest" which is a map across Rome. Students are to complete the fast paced, sight filled quest in three hours. 

A meeting will take place at 3 p.m., Oct. 27 at Cameron University 

Interested students and their parents or guardians are welcome to attend the meeting to find out more information.

The Summer 2014 tour of Italy, Sicily and Greece will start in June.

In addition to traveling, meeting locals and experiencing what the cultures have to offer, the student ambassadors will also be performing community service during the trip. This year they will be caring for and releasing sea turtles into the ocean, Mindemann said. 

It's a long journey to become a student ambassador, even before the student has packed a suitcase. 

"It's a yearlong process," Mindemann said. The student will need to attend meetings, three letters of recommendation are required, there are tests the student must pass, to name a few of the prerequisites.

The student ambassador is also responsible for fundraising, applying for grants and/or scholarships.

Mindemann said that this is an opportunity for the parents to give their child an opportunity to see the world. 

"So many people plan to travel after retiring, and sometimes that day never comes," she said. 

The Student Ambassador Program has been around a long time. It was formed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for inner city youth in 1956.

"The purpose of the program is to bind together and realize we're all one in this world," Mindemann said. 

Mindemann said that safety is number one in looking after the students on the trip. 

Visit for enrollment information and more about this program.