Kapolei Middle School Student Selected For Exchange Program

Editor’ s Note: This letter is special to MidWeek’ s West Oahu Islander from 11-year-old Sara LaCalamito, who is a sixth- grader at Kapolei Middle School. She has been invited to participate in the international exchange program People to People Student Ambassadors, which seeks students who excel in academics or leadership activities for its trips. LaCalamito, a soccer player and former Junior Police Officer captain, recently was invited to travel to England and France this summer with the group.

The day I received the invitation to travel with People To People, I really didn’t know what it was all about.

Kapolei Middle School sixth-grader Sara LaCalamito hopes to go on what she calls her ‘dream trip’ this summer with a student ambassador program, and she is asking for help to raise funds. Here she is on a recent trip to Kauai. Photo from the LaCalamito family.

But after attending an introductory meeting with my mom and dad, we knew it was a worthwhile program. People to People Student Ambassador Program was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. It’s purpose is to give young citizens of the United States an opportunity to travel and meet people from other countries in order to learn about different places and cultures

President Eisenhower once said, “I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments.” The program’s motto is “pro- moting peace through understanding.”

President Eisenhower, along with other leaders, created the program as a way to ease tensions and provide a diplomatic alternative to future wars.

I was very flattered to know that I was invited to travel with them! I wondered why they picked me. We were told People to People contacts schools and sports groups asking for outstanding students and future leaders. Hard work and determination do matter!

This year, our P2P delegation will go to England and France. The trip is called “Tale of Two Cities” because we are going to London and Paris. We will visit important monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Normandy Beach, The Louvre, Big Ben, and the English Parliament. We will go into the Parliament and get a behind-the-scenes tour in exclusive places!

This might sound like a vacation, but it’s not; it’s an educational journey. We will even learn some French and experience Shakespeare.

These days, students have a lot of educational travel options, but this trip is designed to create global awareness in a fun-packed two-week summer adventure.

As President Eisenhower knew, it’s the meeting of two different cultures, face to face, that builds true understanding and global awareness.

I am so excited for this trip, but I need funds to help me get there. My parents can’t afford to pay for the whole trip.

So they offered to help me fundraise and to pay for half, if I can fundraise the other half.

So if you want to help me reach my dream … My donation website is gofundme.com/SaraDreamTrip.

On the site, you also will find more information about People to People and the trip. Please visit it and help me reach my dream!