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Lions send five students overseas

(From left) Dana Queen, Sadie Buckel,Abby Harrington and Claire Hueg were selected to participate in the Lions Club foreign exchange program in July. Logan Lipinski, not pic­tured, was also chosen. Buckel won a scholarship, while the other four will be sponsored on their trips. (Photo by Sarah Young)

Five St. Croix Central High School students were chosen in December by the Roberts Lions Club to travel overseas as part of the Lions Club foreign exchange pro­gramin July. Sadie Buckel won a schol­arship that will pay for part of her expenses. The other four students, who will be sponsored by the Roberts Lions, are Logan Lipinski, Claire Hueg, Abby Harrington and Dana Queen. These four will be able to take part in the exchange program, but must pay their own way, said Lions Club member Deb Flettre.

“It’s such a life-changing experience for students,” Flettre said. “I try to get as many students to be able to go as possible.”

Flettre said usually juniors and sophomores apply for the exchange. They must complete an application and essay, which are judged by three Lions Club members with no affiliation to the school. They are individually interviewed by the judges panel.

Ten students applied this year, Flettre said. Applicants are judged on their applica­tions, essays, articulation, knowledge of their country of choice to visit and confi­dence.

“It’s so impressive how these students have such amazing interview skills already,” Flettre said.

Students will stay with a host family for two weeks in their chosen country. They will then attend a Lions Camp in that country for two weeks, Flettre said.

“It’s just so fun watching them come back and how giddy they are,” Flettre said.

According to Buckel, stu­dents find out in May what country they will visit. Applicants list their top three countries on the application.

Buckel wants to go to Italy; Queen is hoping to go to Germany; Harrington would like to go to Spain; Hueg chose Denmark for her top choice. Lipinski was absent the day students were interviewed.

The Lions camps focus on sightseeing, culture and dif­ferent things like sports, the arts and the environment, Hueg said.

Flettre said many local Lions Clubs are unaware of this opportunity. She plans to take former exchange partic­ipants Ben Phillips and Blake Flettre to the district confer­ence in Eau Claire in March to make a presentation informing other clubs of the program.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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