TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - China may be a long way from Tahlequah, but Sequoyah junior Aileen Holmes is looking forward to the trip. She has been selected to serve as a student ambassador with the People To People program and will spend two weeks of her summer getting an up-close and personal look at Chinese culture.
"The things that we will get to see (in China) seem interesting," Holmes said. "We get to stay with a Chinese family and see how they live."
Holmes will visit four towns in China. They are Beijing, Xi'an, Suzhou and Hong Kong. People to People organizers have scheduled the ambassadors to not only do community service work while in the country, but also experience local events such as Stanley Market, Confucius Temple, and the Great Wall of China.
In preparation for the trip, Holmes and her "team" of delegates from Oklahoma and Arkansas must meet monthly and make presentations to the group about the country. Holmes plans to study Chinese music for her presentation.
"I think I'll learn about China's past and how they honor their past with modern things," Holmes said.
According to the Web site www.peopletopeople.com, People to People Student Ambassador Programs provide international educational opportunities for elementary, junior high, and high school students. These life-changing educational experiences combine hands-on cultural contact, behind-the-scenes access to fascinating people and places, and amazing outdoor adventures.
"I'm honored to have a student from Sequoyah representing the United States," said Gina Stanley, Sequoyah superintendent. "Aileen will make us proud. She's a great kid and a good student. This is a great opportunity for her."
Holmes, 16, of Tahlequah, is the daughter of Carol Holmes of Tahlequah and Chris Holmes of Welling and is a member of the Sequoyah Academic Team.
Sequoyah Schools, a boarding school for Native American students, originated in 1871 and is named for Sequoyah, the scholar who developed the Cherokee syllabary.
The school is regionally and state accredited for grades 7-12 and has become the school of choice for more than 400 Native American high school students every year. Sequoyah Schools is located five miles southwest of Tahlequah, Okla.
For more information call (918) 453-5400.