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Clay: Starting an early journey

Clay brothers embarking on a trip to Alaska and much more

By Brett Findlay

Jason and Jacob Shandler were recently notified that they'd have the opportunity to travel to Alaska. The fifth (Jacob) and sixth (Jason) grade students at Gillette Road Middle School are headed there via the People to People Student Ambassador Program. Their trip begins in July with no date yet scheduled, but the journey is already well underway.

Last year, Jason was invited but he didn't think he was ready to go yet. This year, he and his brother Jacob got the invite, so they decided to go forward together.

"It sounded like a great experience," Jason said. "You can see stuff up there that we couldn't see here like the Northern Lights, bears," "and whales," Jacob added.

In the beginning of the school year the two received a letter notifying them that they'd been nominated for the trip. You have to be recommended by a teacher, alumni of the People to People program or from academic excellence. Although the two have yet to find out where their nomination came from it hasn't stopped them from moving forward. Straight "A's" in the classroom have given them the inkling that it's from academic excellence though.

After finding out about being nominated, the two had to go through an interview with the other candidates. There were five individuals at the interview, two of which were the Shandler brothers. No parents were allowed at the meeting, something the participants will have to get used to because there are no parents allowed on the trip either.

The boys had to bring two letters of recommendation to the interview from teachers and one from an adult not related to the family. After gathering everything that the boys needed they went forward with the process. The interview was 35 minutes long.

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