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Every year, 11,000 young people participate in International Towne, a program of Young Americans Center for Financial Education. Thanks to long-time partner AAA Colorado, middle school students can experience the world without ever leaving Colorado.
On a recent Friday in International Towne, 13-year-old Sarina* encouraged her fellow citizens to visit her country, Russia, and purchase a chocolate chip cookie. Sarina is a 7th grader at Otho E Stuart Middle School, which has been participating in International Towne since 2008. “It’s like the real world here because you have to exchange money, travel, and provide excellent customer service to make people visit your country,” she explained. “We’re selling cookies for five EuRussia notes, and they are really popular.” Although she has never travelled outside the U.S., Sarina hopes to visit Russia someday. “Or maybe the Bahamas,” she adds, “I’d love to go to the beach!”
Next door in Germany, Noal* is working as a Customs Agent. Every International Towne student must carry a valid passport, provided by AAA Colorado, and Customs Agents like Noal officially allow visitors into their country by issuing them a stamp. “I was really looking forward to International Towne,” Noal says as he hands a passport back to a tourist. “I wanted to work in Germany because I plan to go there sometime. You know, Customs Agents actually exist; but they have a lot more paperwork than I do.”
Most of the 130 students participating that day had never travelled outside the United States, which makes their day in International Towne even more valuable. Teacher Trista Samet says this is why she brings her students to the program every year. “It’s real-world experience—they get to see what the real world is like and get to take part.” Thank you, AAA Colorado, for providing this hands-on learning experience to thousands of students every year.
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of minor students.
About AAA Colorado
According to the AAA Colorado website, AAA Colorado is the state’s most-trusted advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services, including the 2019 Vacations Showcase occurring February 1-2 at Broncos Stadium in Denver. For more information, visit AAA.com.