An adventure Down Under
Justin Toth’s first trip outside of the country will be a memorable one.
The Eagle River High sophomore leaves June 16 for a 20-day trip to Australia through the People to People Ambassador Program.
“It’s pretty big for my first time,” Toth said.
Toth’s three weeks in the Outback will be spent learning about Australian culture as he explores the country from Sydney to Cairns. Toth will study sea life with marine biologists, hurl spears with Aboriginal Australians and even sample crocodile chowder.
“I’ll be getting a new experience of things that are outside of the United States,” he said. “Immerse myself in a new culture.”
It will be a trip of a lifetime, said Toth’s mom, Hollie.
“Getting to meet new people and new places and new animals and new foods,” she said.
Hollie said she’s thankful her son’s first trip overseas will be to an English-speaking country.
“That definitely made us feel more comfortable,” she said.
Earning a spot on this trip wasn’t easy. Toth was one of just 20 Alaskans (out of 120 applicants) who were selected. Being selected for the program is largely based on academic achievement, Toth said, and there’s also an interview process.
Toth, who was first introduced to the program through a friend who traveled to Europe in middle school, said students can’t rest after being selected.
All People to People ambassadors must do community service work and complete a project about the country they are visiting.
For all their work, each student receives one history credit.
“It’s the most expensive credit we’ve paid for,” Hollie quipped.
Through aluminum can drives, donations, a garage sale and his PFD, Toth has raised half of the $8,000 needed to get to Australia. He is still seeking donations and for every $50 donated, Toth will complete one hour of community service.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be mailed to 21451 White Water Circle, Eagle River, Alaska, 99577.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or email@example.com.