Cody Goforth People to People Ambassador

For 14-year-old Cody Goforth of Murchison, it’s been a busy spring.

Goforth, who is home-schooled, has been keeping up his school work, showing an animal at the Henderson County Livestock Show, playing sports and raising funds to travel to the British Isles this summer as a People to People Ambassador.

The People to People program was founded in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower as a means for students of different nations to reach across boundaries and resolve their differences. There are programs for grade school, junior high and high school students to travel in groups of 30 to 40 to countries around the globe. People to People officials say the organization has sent delegations to 34 nations in its 52-year history.

“I’m going on a 20 day trip to Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland to serve as an ambassador and promote good will,” Goforth said.

The trip will allow him to connect with students, common citizens and even government officials.

“I’ll be able to meet with an man who is a member of Parliament and ask him questions,” Goforth said.

Goforth’s trip to London will include the “changing of the guard” ceremony at Buckingham Palace. It’s all part of learning the history and culture of the people of the region.

“A normal tourist would get to do that, but we’ll get to camp outside a castle in the courtyard and do things most people won’t get to do,” Goforth said.

Goforth was recommended for the trip by one of his home-school teachers. Applicants must submit letters of recommendation from two of their teachers and one other adult. He also has to raise funds to pay for the trip. Goforth was recommended a year ago, but an illness curtailed his fundraising efforts.

This year, Goforth has a bake-sale planned for April 12 at Wal-Mart and other ideas are in the works.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and Ireland,” Goforth said. “I don’t mind talking to people I don’t know.

He’s anxious to see what kind of environment other students his age have in those countries and share ideas with teens there.

“I’ll have a home stay in Ireland. It will be on a farm and help them with their chores,” Goforth said.

Before the trip, People to People Ambassadors and their parents attend four two hour orientation meetings. In the orientations, they get to know some of their fellow ambassadors, learn about the history and culture of the countries they will visit and get the necessary information about travel itinerary and packing.

“We’ll learn how to dress for the trip so we don’t look weird in public,” Goforth said.

Goforth excels in language arts, history and enjoys some math, occasionally. He’s also studying Latin, which is worth a high school credit.

“My mom wanted me to, she said it would be valuable” Goforth said.

Down the road, he wants to attend College of the Ozarks and major in agriculture.

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