Student ambassador group takes EHS senior to the people
Eudora High School senior Joah Buchanan broadened her horizons this summer as she traveled to Australia and New Zealand from June 10 to July 3 with the People to People student ambassador program .
Buchanan, 17, traveled with 40 students from the Kansas City metro area. The students learned and observed Australian and New Zealand culture throughout the trip while they gave their hosts some insight into American culture. Buchanan said meeting an Australian family and staying with them gave the students a better understanding of the culture.
"We had to do home stays where we would stay at a family's house and see their everyday life," Buchanan said.
The sightseeing and the variety of animals in that part of the world also interested Buchanan.
"My favorite part was seeing the Parliament building in Sydney," Buchanan said. "I got to hold the koalas and kangaroos. We climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and took a boat ride through the harbor at night."
Buchanan said New Zealand proved to be less impressive than Australia, but they did get the chance to do some important things.
"New Zealand was much colder and there are many more sheep than people there," Buchanan said. "We planted trees in New Zealand for the World Wildlife Federation."
Buchanan discovered the organization after she received something in the mail. She went to a few monthly meetings for People to People during the school year and participated in the trip as the only EHS student. However, she met a lot of new people from other school districts including Gardner-Edgerton, Louisburg, Olathe and Shawnee Mission.
"A lot of the kids I traveled with, I am still e-mailing and keeping in touch with," Buchanan said. "I met a lot of friends for life. I hope to go back to Australia sometime; it was a great trip."
Now that she has returned to Eudora, Buchanan is enjoying her summer and preparing for her final year at EHS. Buchanan is a member of the EHS Scholars Bowl, the school's chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, the environmental club, the drama club and is the photo editor for the EHS newspaper.
She is planning on attending Kansas State University upon graduation to study veterinary medicine. Currently, Buchanan works at the Eudora Animal Hospital, but someday she would like to work in the zoo end of the veterinary business.
This semester, Buchanan will get a head start on college credit at another Kansas college.
"I hope to take classes at KU in the mornings this year and plan on working as the photo editor of the (EHS) newspaper," Buchanan said.