Eight juniors from Union City, Obion County Central and South Fulton high schools boarded a bus this morning for the Memphis airport.
Matthew Kegan Tittle, Allison Wicker and Lindsay Castellaw, all from Obion County Central High School; Zack Vaughn from South Fulton High School; and Garrett Ransom, Grant Ransom, Macie Britt and Destiny Powers, all from Union City High School, checked their baggage weight at Reelfoot Animal Clinic and then started the fourth Union City Rotary Club all-expense-paid 12-day trip to Europe.
The students will be repeating last year’s itinerary provided by Cosmos Travel Co. through Travel One in Union City. Labeled “From St. Paul’s to St. Peter’s,” the trip will include two nights each in London, Paris, Lucerne and Rome, with some other single-night stops in between and the chance to enjoy an amazing view of the world at no expense to the students. The chaperones are David and Mary Hellen Johnson, who made the same trip in 2011 with nine students from the three schools. Mrs. Johnson is a Union City Middle School teacher.
The students were selected in January out of the 44 Class of 2013 members from the three high schools who attended an orientation session with their parents, submitted applications and financial information and completed an interview session with the Rotary Club trip selection committee.
Only students who could not otherwise afford the trip were considered for the opportunity, which is in its fourth year.
As part of their opportunity, they did extensive preparation in group sessions before they left. In classes with local travel experts and authorities on a variety of topics, and in the independent study from which they prepared reports for presentation to the entire travel group, the students learned about culture, monetary systems, geography, language, foods, travel safety, customs, history, art, architecture and much more. While the travel company will provide opportunities to view many well-known sites in the areas they visit, the students had the responsibility of researching other points of interest they would like to see, figuring out the amount of time necessary to travel and peruse those sites and determining if the opportunity was one they can afford, based on the “extra” funds the Rotary Club allows the group for such outings and taking into consideration the two foreign monetary systems they will deal with.
They each hope to bring back a broader knowledge of the world and different cultures.
Messenger readers can keep up with the travelers through stories phoned home each day.
The trip is one of the many youth-focused programs provided for local children and teens by Union City Rotary Club.
Published in The Messenger 6.26.12