Lone Peak High School student Trevor House, who will be a Junior next fall, is currently entering the third week of his three weeks in Cambodia as one of only 20 students in the state selected for this U.S. State Department trip.
As part of its mission to promote cross-cultural understanding, the U.S. State Department’s American Youth Leadership Program works with existing educational institutions and non-profits (in this case, the Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana) to select outstanding students for the three to four week trips abroad. House’s trip has an emphasis on climate change and environmental science and the group is studying watersheds, deforestation, and other environmental and climate issues that impact Montana and Cambodia.
In addition, the students are learning about the culture of Cambodia. This week, they took an emotional journey to one of the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia, where an estimated two million Cambodians died during the Khmer Rouge genocide of the late 1970s. Upon their return, the students are expected to do community service related to their experiences abroad.
One of the teacher’s on the trip is updating a blog regularly with photos. Locals interested in following Trevor’s trip may do so at http://aylpcambodia.wordpress.com/.
“So many people have known Trevor all his life and want to read about what he’s doing,” says his mother, Kathy House.
American Youth Leadership Programs exist across the country, often only offered to students in specific geographic regions or states. House’s Cambodia trip will be offered again to students who will be between 15 and 17 at the time of the trip, and House’s mother encourages other local students to apply, as Lone Peak High’s emphasis on the environment probably helped Trevor’s selection. Another LPHS Sophomore, Micah Robin, was also nearly on the trip as he was selected as an alternate.
“It is an incredible opportunity,” says Kathy House. “Trevor is learning so much.