VHS students to travel overseas

Published 6:58 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two Verbena High School students will be spending 22 days over seas this summer as student ambassadors in the People to People student ambassador program.

Tiffany Wimberley and Tyler Singleton, both juniors, were anonymously chosen to participate in the ambassador program.

The students will travel June 21-July 12 to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, where they will have a 3-day home stay with a local family, spend a day experiencing international school life and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.

“I’m very proud of Tyler, and I couldn’t be happier,” said Melinda Smitherman, Singleton’s aunt. “His father Joe Smith, mother Karen Adams and I are really proud of him, and for the two of them to be chosen says a lot for Verbena High School.”

The People To People organization was founded in 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The program organizes and promotes opportunities for bridging cultural and political borders through direct interaction, unparalleled access, and unique experiences, according to its website.

The students will also receive school credit for this trip said Sandy Wimberley, Tiffany’s mother.

The cost of the trip is $8,839, which includes transportation, accommodations, meals and educational activities, so each student will be raising money through fundraisers.

In order to raise money, Tyler is selling scratch cards, writing letter to businesses, raffling off a Valentine’s basket and will have a car wash in the spring along with numerous other ways to raise money.

Wimberley is having a candle sale, raffling a gold herringbone necklace for Valentine’s Day, is having a benefit concert, a bass tournament, writing letters and having a motorcycle ride benefit, along with numerous other things when the weather permits.

“Both her dad, Dale, and I are so proud of our daughter, Tiffany, and all her accomplishments,” Wimberley said. “She is a wonderful person. This will be a great experience for her and for Tyler. When we found out she was nominated for this trip, we knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we should allow her to participate in.

“My worst fear was being that far away for such a long period of time, but the People To People organization is all about safety. The student’s safety is their first concern I think it is great that she will have this experience that not many people get to. It is such an honor and blessing just knowing that she was chosen.”