Escambia County High School junior Ace Goins has been accepted into the prestigious People to People program. Goins was nominated by his teachers at ECHS for the honor which spotlights young men and women who excel in academics as well as display character and leadership.
People to People is a federal program established by President Eisenhower that gives young Americans the opportunity to travel internationally and is aimed at promoting cultural peace and tolerance world-wide. Today the program is headed up by Eisenhower’s granddaughter Mary Eisenhower.
Goins was welcomed into this year’s class after going through an extensive interview process. Now, as part of the program officially, Goins himself will shoulder the responsibility of raising $8,500 to cover the expenses of the trip as well as an insurance policy that will cover him while he his out of the states.
Goins said he has considered several types of fundraisers including holding a Read-a-thon event, a raffle, and auctioning himself off to local people for labor. Goins is also hoping for sponsorships from local people or organizations who may be interested in helping him take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In addition to his fundraising, Goins said he will personally pay for approximately $3,000 of the money from funds he has received from his part time job at the Atmore Food World grocery store.
Goins said he has just under a year to get the funds together as the People To People program will embark on their journey on June 26, 2011. The trip will take Goins and the other members first to New Zealand. Afterwards the group will travel to Fiji before heading to Australia. While overseas the group will be immersed in the cultures of the countries they visit, will learn about the local customs and will have the opportunity to study marine biology at the Great Barrier Reef before returning home on July 17.
Goins said he is hopeful that he will be able to raise the funds before the deadline and will be applying for several scholarships that would aid him in his efforts. Goins will be in competition with other students who were accepted into the People to People program from around the country to receive any scholarship help and is one of only two recipients of the honor from Escambia County Alabama. Goins will attend his first official People to People meeting on Saturday, November 6.
Goins and his family moved to the Atmore area from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the son of Amanda and Andrew Richey and is a member of Grace Fellowship Church in Atmore.
Goins said he is very honored and excited to be a part of the People To People program and is hopeful for the opportunities it may create for him as around 87 percent of those in the program are able to receive scholarships after high school to the university of their choosing.
For more information about the program or to help Goins in his effort to raise funds, information is available at www.peopletopeople.com or by calling ECHS at (251) 368-9181.