Tax-credit program broadens students' global outlook 
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 16, 2007


Many young students dream of traveling to other countries, but many students in the Creighton Elementary School District's Junior Ambassador program are doing it.

In this tax-credit-supported program, students from impoverished schools have the chance to broaden their horizons and better prepare them for the global economy by visiting other countries.

"One of our district's goals is to provide students with an education that promotes an understanding of our world, its diverse cultures and America's relationship with them," advertisement

Creighton Superintendent Charlotte Boyle said. "For the past 15 years, Junior Ambassadors has given our middle-school students an opportunity outside of the classroom to learn about their world."

The students study American government and history, learn foreign languages, research the culture and history of their exchange countries and use technology to communicate around the world in after-school classes. All this is in preparation to visit abroad.

"It was a great experience and I'll remember it for the rest of my life," said Camille Brashear, an Arcadia High sophomore and a former Junior Ambassador to Germany. "I still keep in touch with my German partner."

"It seemed like the maturity level of my daughter grew exponentially while she was in Germany," said Camille's father, Steve Brashear.

Creighton Ambassadors host their partners for three to 10 days, and then are hosted by partners in their respective countries. More than 150 students participate in extracurricular programs that study countries such as Japan, Mexico and Germany.

Fourth- through eighth-graders are chosen for the program through an application and interview process. The selection committee looks for students with outstanding citizenship, high motivation and ability to do additional class work. In addition, Junior Ambassadors need a supportive family that is willing to contribute to and participate in this unique experience.

"We all learned about Germany through our daughter's stories and pictures of her trip, and then having her German partner stay with us for a few weeks," said Rebecca Brashear, Camille's mother. "Seeing how people in other countries live is a unique and valuable learning experience for everyone."

For more information, contact program director Margaret Dubois at (602) 381-4699.

Carol Peck is president and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona. Her columns appear bi-monthly. Post your questions and comments on her blog at or send them to rodel@rodelfoundations .org. Visit the Rodel Foundation-AZ Web site at