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Student plans European trip for summer

Fundraising goal is $8,000 for tuition, plus incidentals

— Jade Stidman is trying to earn several thousand dollars so she can participate in the People to People student ambassador program.

The 12-year-old Omak Middle School student plans to travel to France, Italy and Greece next July for a 20-day educational experience with a delegation of other students from Washington.

Forty Washington students will participate, said her dad, Zac Stidman.

Students had to apply and were interviewed before being selected.

Jade Stidman said she anticipates visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris and a Holocaust museum in Italy.

The trip includes tours of Vatican City and Greece, and a museum visit that will include the Mona Lisa.

The trip won’t be all sight-seeing, though. The program includes classes in architecture, archaeology, history and political science.

She’ll be able to earn college credit for her experience.

She “was so excited when she approached me a few mornings ago to tell me how she was going on a People to People trip next summer,” teacher Jennifer Short said.

“Her eyes lit up and you could see that she was anxious and hopeful for the opportunity.”

“I am excited for this opportunity,” Stidman said.

“Jade is the kind of student who goes out of her way to help others,” Principal Kathy Miller said. “She has a very kind heart and strives to be a good citizen. She is humble, but gives her best.”

Stidman is somewhat shy, “so this experience will help her to gain confidence to speak out and be a leader. I hope the community will get behind her and help her to be able to attend,” Miller said.

After she returns, Stidman said she plans to be available to give presentations to community groups.

She is trying to raise $8,000 for tuition, in addition to spending money and some air travel costs.

She’s been selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but also plans other fundraisers such as an auction, dinner and shoveling snow.

She also helps with the North Cascades Athletic Club winter tennis program at the fairgrounds Agriplex, 175 Rodeo Trail Road.

“I have been raking leaves and will be shoveling snow once winter has finally settled in,” she said. “I have also been reaching out to local businesses.”

When she’s not working on her trip or attending school, where she’s a budding journalist, she plays club volleyball with After Shock.

“Jade works extremely hard to assure that her work is quality,” journalism teacher Randy Rose said. “In her journalism class she works well with her team and has paid close attention to her story deadlines.”

She is careful in her editing and “is careful to catch errors in both syntax and grammar,” he said. “She is a joy to have in class and is a healthy addition to my journalism classroom.”

“Jade is a very polite and caring student (who) would gain a lot of experience and personal growth participating in an opportunity like this one,” Short said.

“From my experience chaperoning many students on trips, Jade is an ideal citizen (who) will proudly represent herself, her family, her school and her community.”

Stidman is the daughter of Zac Stidman and Sasha Brantner, both of Omak.

She has a sister, Layla Stidman, and a brother, Zander Stidman.

She said Okanogan graduate Kelly Pitts will be a teacher delegate accompanying the student group.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower began the People to People Ambassador Program in 1956. The first delegation went overseas in 1960.

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