Student Ambassador trip overseas at 12 years old

Amy - posted on 03/20/2014 ( 17 moms have responded )

6

0

0

I want my daughter to take an amazing 19 day trip to China in the summer. I have everything to get her passport and trip going. Her father is refusing to sign for the passport. We are not together and I have full custody. In my opinion this is an amazing opportunity for my daughter and will changer her life and perception of life. I would love to take this chance while she is still young to learn and see amazing people in this world. He does not pay a dime toward this I will be the one supporting it financially and feels she is to young and it is not a good time since we are at war with China. What? Any thoughts or comments to either point of view?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ev - posted on 03/20/2014

7,252

7

909

1) As far as I know the United States is not at war with China or any other country.

2)I agree that a kid who wants to do something should get to do it but sometimes when parents disagree on the issue at hand, there is not much that can be done if he refuses to sign so she can have a passport. She could do this at 16, could she not?

3) In my own opinion, she is a bit young to be traveling in a group like this and I would think that it would be older kids that do this kind of thing.

4) You do realize there is more to life than a trip to China. You can get her that leadership and other things for her college resume by doing volunteer work, joining clubs in school and holding offices in them, holding office in school or class, and so many other things. There are even places here in the United States that could be used in leiu of that trip to China where she can learn about other cultures but not across an ocean.

Amy - posted on 03/20/2014

3

0

0

Any court would see that your child is doing something which will help her grow as a human and they would also see you're giving her access to the world. You should speak to someone legal about this. In a world where most children are glued to the television or too obese to leave their sitting room, a child like yours who wishes to travel and see other cultures is a rare pleasure, and the fact you are urging her to do so only confirms how good a parent you are.
There must be a way you can make this happen without the father even needing to be involved.

Jodi - posted on 03/20/2014

3,533

36

3906

Where do you live that you are at war with China? Also, who is she going with?

Also, he isn't obligated to sign the passport. If you want him to, you would have to go and plead your case in court and have the court order him to sign them.

17 Comments

View replies by

Ev - posted on 03/22/2014

7,252

7

909

Another good point Cyrena. Being that far from home and in a different country with a whole other type of culture is shocking. Europe might not be as different to us as going to China or another Asian country where people look differently at the roles of men and women, tourists and such.

[deleted account]

My parents sent my brother to Europe when he was 15 thinking the same thing. I can understand how you would want your daughter to have an opportunity to learn about new cultures, and maybe she'll have a great time. However all my brother did the whole time is call my mom begging her to let him come home. He was scared to be in a new place, and very shocked at all the differences. Just something to think about. She might be so home sick she won't enjoy it.

Dove - posted on 03/22/2014

11,630

0

1348

At 12... I wouldn't do it unless a parent or close friend were going as a chaperone. Our youth do mission trips into Mexico, but that doesn't start til high school.

Sharon - posted on 03/22/2014

90

0

15

More on YSA -Mission & Vision YOUTH SERVICE AMERICA
http://www.ysa.org/

Mission: YSA improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles.

Vision: A global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA’s work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities.
We believe

Service should be the common expectation and common experience of all young people.
Children and youth are community assets and resources possessing unique perspectives, idealism, energy, creativity, and commitment.
The earlier youth are asked to serve, the better prepared they are to embrace the virtue of lifelong service and philanthropy.
Youth-led service projects are most effective because decision-making gives young people ownership for the solutions.
Youth can be authentic leaders during childhood and adolescence.
The civic responsibilities of volunteering and voting, and the critical links between them, must be taught to all children.
Young people have a right to participate in the formulation of public policy, particularly where it directly affects their lives and their future.
Public officials and the media play crucial roles in the campaign to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of youth service.
Meaningful youth service activities create strong, diverse communities of inspired, intelligent, civically-engaged young people.
Youth from all backgrounds must have the opportunity to serve and lead in their communities.
Quality service-learning practices should be widely adopted and implemented to advance student achievement and civic engagement.

Sharon - posted on 03/22/2014

90

0

15

Anyone else out there who has teen - college age kids can consider this offer by State Farm Insurance. This year's 40 $25,000 grants deadline is in just a couple of days, but in the coming years I am sure the grant program will be offered again to U.S. and Canadian youth. http://www.multivu.com/players/English/6...

Sharon - posted on 03/22/2014

90

0

15

I agree, Evelyn. I think 12-15 years old is too young to go "alone" with a group and led by adults you do not know. Here is a website that lists 366 ideas for helping IN YOUR COMMUNITY...Although it is 4H (and joining 4H would not be a bad idea for this 12 year old...13 year old grand daughter is joining for the first time this spring). There are ideas on this list that could be done without being a 4H member.
http://lancaster.unl.edu/4h/serviceideas...

Ev - posted on 03/22/2014

7,252

7

909

Also a lot of those types of programs have an age requirement. I just remembered a trip over to Europe both of my kids were invited on but they had to raise their own funds and do it with a group but most of the kids invited right along with them lived so far away that doing group fund raisers was totally out of the question and also the time frame to do it in was not good either. Both my kids were in at least freshman or sophomore year of high school and there were no kids under that age that were invited to go. I have to agree with the others. Her father has a lot of concerns to address here and that may be why he won't sign for her to have a passport.

Sharon--I loved your story and the fact that you went with your "teenage sons" on this trip. This woman is talking about sending her young 12 year old daughter on a trip alone. To China. She is way to young to go on her own. If her mother or even father went it would be another story. I was gripped when you now 45 year old son had that experience he did. Not all of us are going to be able to take any kind of trips like this for various reasons. Age being one of them and this girl can work on saving money back for a chance later on as a teen. My kids have various experiences here at home that can be just as eye opening and can be as much an impact as going out of the country to either Mexico or even China. There are so many here that need just as much help as those in other countries. Why not find this 12 year old a similar thing here to do? Those she would meet would have the impact of someone who cares and she would get something out of it too.

Leela - posted on 03/21/2014

222

0

30

I agree that this is an amazing opportunity for your daughter. However she's 12 and China isn't going anywhere (at least I hope not). Your ex has concerns and although you are paying the bill he has a right to raise any concerns he may have. Since he feels she is too young then how about deciding an age by which she can accomplish this goal. In the meantime let her build/ show her maturity by involving her in projects closer to home. She may in fact get more out of this opportunity by waiting until she is a bit older.

Sharon - posted on 03/21/2014

90

0

15

Maybe I should explain, at least in one of our trips, how my son's life was changed. (He is now 42 years old) He was a senior in high school. He, and two of his football buddies and I went to Mexico City to work with children who were born and being raised in one of Mexico City's humongous refuse dumps. Before we went, the boys raised all their finances by doing manual labor of one sort or another, including what it would cost to sponsor 20 kids from the dump to go to a camp held 100 miles outside Mexico City, where they could play games, create skits to present to each other, hear stories, and eat ALL THEY WANTED. Also, they raised extra money for a project to provide running water to those living in the dump and also to hold classes for mothers there to learn about hygiene, birth control and childcare. Northwest Medical teams was the sponsor under which we went - although we had no medical background. Northwest Medical Team had an ongoing service there at that particular dump. We did not see the dump prior to the camp, the children were brought to where we were (a fairly luxurious accommodation across from the American Embassy in Mexico CIty) - and from there we all piled into the vans and headed to the campgrounds. When we arrived there, I thought the camp grounds looked like a dump. However, after a week of activities and getting to know the children, we returned the children to their home in the dump. What a shock! Mounds and mountains of garbage, children out foraging for things to salvage - thrown away food from restaurants and hotels, etc. dead rats every three feet lying shriveled in the scorching sun, scrawny dogs with boney rib cages, shelters made from cardboard where one of the girls that went with us lived with 11 other family members. We held a little story class and craft making activity in the middle of all of this. A mother came up to me and handed me her baby who was wrapped in a soaking wet urine soaked blanket and she went walking off. I was stunned. The director said she did that when guests came - and off she went to forage. I was assigned by my home town newspaper to take photos of the experience and I could not hold the baby and take photos, too. So I passed the baby off to my 6'3" son - all dressed in his fancy dancy name brand T-shirt and shorts. I thought, "Surely, he'll pass this baby off to one of his buddies." But my son stood there, swaying the baby back and forth in his arms for 45 minutes. With the camera, I captured the look on his face as he looked down with compassion on the baby and then with a furrowed brow gazed across the expanse of that dump...a look I would never have forgotten, but I have it forever captured on a photo. My son had always been a kid who would rather have one name-brand expensive item of clothing rather than several less expensive ones. From the dump we had to leave directly to catch our plane back to the U.S. To my amazement, not once did my son complain or even mention his urine stained T-shirt - wore it all the way home. That week at the camp and especially that 45 minutes at the dump CHANGED HIS LIFE. He is now an IT with Hilton hotels. He makes a ton of money and has "adopted" children overseas through Compassion International as well as being a foster parent. He is married and has three teenage children.

Sharon - posted on 03/21/2014

90

0

15

We TOOK each of our kids on an overseas missions trip - it did change their lives!

Amy - posted on 03/20/2014

6

0

0

I have no idea about the war thing. It is an objection that I was given from her father. She will be traveling with People to People Student Ambassador Program. This will give her certificates for serving and will help with her college and leadership acknowledgement. I want her to go young because she is one who knows what she wants when she is older. I feel it is my responsibility to help keep her dreams alive and help her get to her goals. This is one way to add to her giving back to the world.

Kay - posted on 03/20/2014

7

0

4

While I myself feel 12 is a little to young to travel across the world I understand what your saying . If you feel that she is mature enough, allow her to take the trip but make sure to school her on safety. China is a very dangerous place right now and they don't take kindly to outsiders. As mothers we have to let our child experience the world and if you trust her enough and feel she will be completely safe , let her go . As for her father, sit down with him for a cup of coffee and have a decent conversation . Try not to raise your voice even if he makes you mad. In the end he has to sign the passport. Bring up as many pros as you can about the trip . Also try to ask him a little bit about whats going on in his life . He might just be refusing to sign because he's angry over something


I hope this helps

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms