A former Alta High School student will journey Down Under this summer as part of the People to People student ambassadors program, and will be briefed by host government officials, visit factories and offices around the country and travel to cities such as Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.
Kim Collum, who moved to Carroll with her mother, Mona Berg, before the start of the 2001-2002 school year, was recently selected as a delegate for the program after undergoing a month-long evaluation process which included obtaining school references and personal interviews with members of a screening committee.
Collum will begin her experience in June, and will spend approximately three weeks in the country learning about the government, economy and history of both the Australian and Aboriginal cultures.
Collum and the other ambassadors will also spend their trip living with a host family, visiting landmarks such as the Great Barrier Reef and meeting with youth clubs and headquarters of Australian organizations.
Collum, a 10th grade student at Carroll High, said she decided to apply for the People to People student ambassadorship to earn an opportunity to travel abroad and to gain an understanding of the ways people live and work in other cultures around the world.
"I just thought it would be a good experience," Collum said. "It was something that I thought would be worthwhile."
Collum was picked for the program after the committee noticed she earned a 3.1 grade point average while also participating in many activities such as softball, basketball, volleyball and honor band. Her past experience in leadership camp in 1997 and her work as a detasseler for Professional Seeds in Alta also played a role in her selection.
Each student must pay their own way for the trip. Collum is now beginning to raise funds for her Australian journey. Donations may be sent to Collum in care of her mother, Mona Berg, at 918 Amy Circle, Carroll, Iowa 51401. The deadline is May 1.