This year Shawnee Mission East’s students participation in the AMIGOS program has increased compared to years in the past due to presentations given by junior Vanessa Daves, who went abroad last year. The 46 year old AMIGOS program is a summer abroad program for high school and college students. The participants live and work in a Latin American country for 6-8 weeks. The program teaches students how to develop leadership skills and cultural awareness, as well as participate and plan community service projects. When the students arrive in their country, they live with a host family and take on different projects such as environmental health and youth leadership exercises. This year seven East students will be going abroad with the AMIGOS program.
Here is a quick run down of the students going:[media-credit name=”Stefano Byre” align=”alignleft” width=”150″][/media-credit]Emilie Bruyere
Country: Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Purpose for participation: “I had heard about AMIGOS through school presentations but my friend Vanessa Daves made me really want to do it. The AMIGOS program is also a lot less expensive then many other programs like it and it is more community service oriented, so that’s why I was drawn to it.”
Country: Oaxaca, Mexico
Preparation: “To get prepared for our trip we have meetings for a couple hours and we just talk about how to handle ourselves in the country we are going to and there is a lot of preparation that goes into it, a lot of things you wouldn’t really think about but they are things you need to know.”[media-credit name=”Stefano Byer” align=”alignleft” width=”150″][/media-credit]Claire Maclachlan
Purpose for participation: “I’ve wanted to do AMIGOS since before high school, I don’t really remember how I found out about it but then through the presentations in Spanish classes I heard about it and thought it sounded pretty cool.”[media-credit name=”Stefano Byer” align=”alignright” width=”150″][/media-credit]
Preparation: “We do a lot of fundraising before our trips and we have meetings where they talk to us about how to react to certain things and stuff like that. I’m not fluent, I’m only in Spanish 3. I think it might be kind of hard, they say since you don’t really have a choice you will pick it up after a few weeks.”[media-credit name=”Stefano Byer” align=”alignleft” width=”150″][/media-credit]Hanna Bautz
Purpose for participation: “I’ve known I wanted to do AMIGOS for a long time. My mom actually did AMIGOS when she was at East and she always talks about what a great experience it was. I think that AMIGOS will really help me see the bigger picture and what the priorities in my life should be.”[media-credit name=”Stefano Byer” align=”alignright” width=”150″][/media-credit]Dara O’Connor
Country: Dominican Republic
Purpose for participation: “I had presentations in my Spanish classes about AMIGOS all throughout school and knew right away that I wanted to do it. At first I didn’t have enough years of Spanish behind me, but this year I could finally go.”
Staffer Duncan Maclachlan will also be participating in AMIGOS this summer traveling to Costa Rica.