Dunlow plans Japan trip

Published 12:24 pm Saturday, March 13, 2010

ASKEWVILLE – One Bertie County student will be spending a couple of weeks in Japan this summer.

Lauren Dunlow has been accepted to the People to People Ambassadors program. Formed in 1956 thanks to the work of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the program allows ordinary citizens of different nations to communicate directly.

The ambassadors have gone to 34 countries on all seven continents in the history of the program.

Dunlow said she was nominated for the program and decided to attend the initial meeting held in Goldsboro, but didn’t have much interest beyond the first contact.

“Mainly there were people there who had been before and they talked about it,” Dunlow said. “It sounded really interesting and it sounded really cool.”

There were alternative destinations offered, but Japan was the location Dunlow said she felt was the right place to go.

“I want to learn about another culture,” she said. “I like learning about their daily life. It’s interesting.”

After the first meeting, Dunlow was hooked on the possibilities the program offered and has immediately begun working to raise the $6,500 to make the journey to Japan.

While the trip itself will likely be rewarding, it has already paid dividends according to Stacie Dunlow, Lauren’s mother.

“The project is exciting and she hasn’t been anywhere yet,” Stacie Dunlow said. “What she’s learned has been unreal. She’s studying to go somewhere and that’s different than just learning in class.”

Dunlow said her daughter has also learned the importance of managing her time since she goes to school, plays sports and has worked a few odd jobs. All of that is in addition to making presentations for local groups about the trip and trying to raise funds.

“She has found that it is a little more difficult than she originally thought,” Dunlow said.

Lauren Dunlow will be staying with a Japanese family and will attend school while she is there, both of which excites the youngster.

“I’m looking forward to staying with a family and seeing how they are inside the house and not just on the street,” Dunlow said.

Dunlow is slated to leave for Japan on June 20 and will return on July 4. After she gets back she will be making presentations to those groups who helped support her and show them what she learned while she was in the Asian country.

Anyone wishing to aid Dunlow’s trip can do so by sending a check made out to the Student Ambassadors. It can be sent to 145 New Road, Windsor, NC 27983.

Dunlow is the daughter of Brian and Stacie Dunlow of Askewville and a student at Bertie Middle School.