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North Clay student heading to Australia through People to People

Monday, November 3, 2008

An area student has been given the chance of a lifetime.

Patricia "PJ" Fields, 11, currently attends North Clay Middle School.

She loves to go horseback riding and spends her time learning about animals.

While she was still a student at Van Buren Elementary, she was nominated for the People to People Ambassador Program.

The program was started in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as a way for student ambassadors to learn and respect other cultures around the world.

In the Ambassador Journal, students that are chosen are said to represent the best of the country through "hope, courage, openness and a love of peace."

"On a scale of 1-10, I'm probably at an 11," Fields said in regard to her trip.

Fields was nominated for the ambassador program by her previous principal Gail Williams and by Derik Tipton currently a third-grade teacher.

"It will be a great experience for her," Williams told The Brazil Times. "This gives other students the chance to see the possibilities that are out there for them."

Fields who wants to become a zoologist is the daughter of Don and Amanda Fields, Carbon. They are very proud of their daughter.

"She had to be nominated, someone took the time to fill out the paper and give her this amazing opportunity," Amanda said.

"It is the opportunity of a lifetime," Don quickly added. "How could we tell her no she can't do it."

The trip is scheduled in June, and PJ will be going to Australia with a group of delegates.

Though she is very close with her parents, she isn't scared about traveling half way around the world without them.

"I'm not worried about going to Australia without my parents. I will be so excited about being there that I don't think I'll be worried," PJ said.

She will be in Australia for 15 days and while there, take a tour of the Sydney Opera House, take surfing lessons, take a snorkel tour the Great Barrier Reef, go to school with Australian students, learn about the culture of the Aboriginal people and learn how to throw a boomerang or learn to play the didgeridoo.

Once she returns to the United States, PJ will give a power point presentation to educate the students at Van Buren about the Australian culture.

PJ and her family are asking the community for help in paying for her trip.

"We understand that times are tough on everyone right now," Amanda said. "We feel it as much as everyone else. We are only asking that people give what they can. It is all we can ask."

"I am very proud of Patricia for being chosen," Williams said. "I hope that the community steps up and helps her because this is a once in a lifetime chance and the students that she talks to when she comes back will also benefit from it."

The Fields have a savings account set up at Fifth Third Bank in the name of Patricia Fields, for people that would like to make a donation may.

For more information, contact the Fields at (765) 672-4829.

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Great job PJ! I am so proud of you. You are a very exceptional girl.

-- Posted by smoke20fan on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 6:53 AM

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