Tax-credit program broadens students' global outlook
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 16, 2007
Many young students dream of traveling to other countries, but many students in
the Creighton Elementary School District's Junior Ambassador program are doing
In this tax-credit-supported program, students from impoverished schools have
the chance to broaden their horizons and better prepare them for the global
economy by visiting other countries.
"One of our district's goals is to provide students with an education that
promotes an understanding of our world, its diverse cultures and America's
relationship with them," advertisement
Creighton Superintendent Charlotte Boyle said. "For the past 15 years, Junior
Ambassadors has given our middle-school students an opportunity outside of the
classroom to learn about their world."
The students study American government and history, learn foreign languages,
research the culture and history of their exchange countries and use technology
to communicate around the world in after-school classes. All this is in
preparation to visit abroad.
"It was a great experience and I'll remember it for the rest of my life," said
Camille Brashear, an Arcadia High sophomore and a former Junior Ambassador to
Germany. "I still keep in touch with my German partner."
"It seemed like the maturity level of my daughter grew exponentially while she
was in Germany," said Camille's father, Steve Brashear.
Creighton Ambassadors host their partners for three to 10 days, and then are
hosted by partners in their respective countries. More than 150 students
participate in extracurricular programs that study countries such as Japan,
Mexico and Germany.
Fourth- through eighth-graders are chosen for the program through an application
and interview process. The selection committee looks for students with
outstanding citizenship, high motivation and ability to do additional class
work. In addition, Junior Ambassadors need a supportive family that is willing
to contribute to and participate in this unique experience.
"We all learned about Germany through our daughter's stories and pictures of her
trip, and then having her German partner stay with us for a few weeks," said
Rebecca Brashear, Camille's mother. "Seeing how people in other countries live
is a unique and valuable learning experience for everyone."
For more information, contact program director Margaret Dubois at (602)
Carol Peck is president and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona. Her columns
appear bi-monthly. Post your questions and comments on her blog at azcentral.com/home/Blog/DrPeck
or send them to rodel@rodelfoundations .org. Visit the Rodel Foundation-AZ Web
site at www.rodelaz.org.