A 12-year-old from Stone Valley Middle School wants to be a European ambassador. Anna Nunes isn't jumping the gun. The seventh grader is raising money to become a student ambassador with the People to People program, and she's raising money for the trip on her own -- with a little help from her mother, Magret.
"I'm hoping to learn about various cultures in Europe and learn about the history of Europe," Anna said. "We represent our country so it interchanges cultures."
She needs $6,500 for the trip and has been working hard, arranging corporate sponsorships and even holding bake sales, again with help from her mother, to finance her overseas travel. These aren't the typical bakes sales, with goods stacked on a table outside a grocery store. Her mother takes online orders through her email address and sells bake-to-order goods.
So far, Anna has raised $2,200, even dedicating all her birthday money toward the trip.
"I need a lot more," she said.
Getting named a student ambassador isn't easy, Magret said. First, she had to be nominated by a teacher, and invited to attend an orientation. She wrote her own resume as part of her application process and was accepted by the program.
Raising money was the next step. Her mom's custom baked goods brought in $700, and another $800 came from local businesses.
"She went through the phone book and got in touch with the companies," Magret explained.
The trip will last three weeks and take Anna to England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.
The trip will include a briefing in London with a current or former member of Parliament, and an ambassadorial welcome from Swiss diplomats. Anna will stay with a family in Germany. She'll visit Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard and visit Normandy and Flanders Field to learn about World wars I and II, and will visit Anne Frank House.
After the trip, Anna will have some responsibilities that go along with the trip.
"She plans to go to the chamber of commerce and talk with the companies (that sponsored her trip)," Magret said. "That's part of the program, to share what you've learned abroad."