Since 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded the People to People Student Ambassador Program, 100,000 young Americans have experienced 35 countries around the globe.
Storm Lake Middle School students Jenny Vrieze, daughter of Terry and Graciela Vrieze, and Coy Clark, son of Terry and Crystal Clark, have been selected to take part in this adventure and will spend 19 days traveling through England, Wales and Ireland this summer. The two will be part of a 40-member group of Iowa students.
Jenny and Coy each need to raise $5,000 to take part in this global classroom. They have been busy selling candles, shower gels, lotions and popular Pampered Chef items. (Their proceeds won't add up real quickly, so they have a lot of work ahead of them.)
All those students selected were required to go through an orientation process in Ames. Following this orientation, which gave them more of what the adventure would entail, they had the opportunity to submit an application or turn down the selection.
Jenny and Coy were more than excited and submitted their applications. They each then had to go through an interview process which the two middle school students said was "scary."
They were asked such questions as what they would like to learn as an ambassador, what the difference is between a tourist and an ambassador, and how their friends would describe them.
Coy told the interview board that the difference between a tourist and an ambassador is that "a tourist is there to have fun and take pictures. An ambassador is there to share ideas and visit people."
Following the interviews, the students had to wait a few days for the final decision of who actually would be part of the People to People Program. They were extremely pleased to hear of their selection. "This is the chance of a lifetime," said Coy.
The People to People students will travel with delegation leaders and several chaperones. They will and have the opportunity to stay with families at each stop they make and learn about the different cultures. They will attend school with kids their age, visit Parliament and meet a member of Britain's Parliament. Other activities include visiting historic London, attending a Shakespeare production, visiting Medieval castles, dancing an Irish jig and learning of the Irish heritage.
Stops will be made in Dublin, Lisdoonvarna and Killarney, Ireland; Cardiff and Bangor, Wales; and Bath and London, England.
"I'm excited to kiss the blarney stone and I'd like to have tea with the Queen of England," Coy said.
Jenny and Coy are required to attend monthly orientation meetings in Ames until June. This is a great opportunity for them to become acquainted with other students who will be taking part in the program.
If any business or any individuals or families would like to help these students raise their required funds to take part in this unique and life-learning adventure, you may drop checks off at the Pilot-Tribune office at or mail them to:
Storm Lake Pilot Tribune
C/O People to People Ambassador Program
111 W 7th St.
Storm Lake, Iowa 50588
Checks may be made out to: People to People Student Ambassador Program.
If you wish to purchase candles, gels, lotions or Pampered Chef items from these two students, call Jenny at 732-6533 or Coy at 732-4678.