Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2004

Basehor student’s trip a learning experience

July 15, 2004

Basehor-Linwood Middle School seventh-grader-to-be Frasier Meyer may not be old enough to vote, but this month he learned a lot about leadership qualities that separate great presidents from the average ones.

Frasier spent the first week of July in Washington, D.C., participating in a People to People World Leadership Forum. During the forum, Fraiser and the 223 other student participants, discussed the qualities needed to be an effective leader, visited some of the historic monuments and museums located within the city and formed discussion teams to discuss what was being learned.

"I think the focus was really on leadership skills and what presidents had them," Frasier said. "I think Eisenhower and Lincoln definitely did."

During the trip, 12-year-old Frasier toured Mt. Vernon, the Gettysburg battlefield, the National Air and Space Museum and even the Holocaust Museum, where museum visitors symbolically discovered whether they would have survived or perished in the tragedy.

Frasier also was able to write a letter to a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq and chose to include a special message.

"I thanked him for protecting us," Frasier said. "I think it's very brave of them-- risking their lives to protect their country."

Fraiser was able to take part in the forum because one of his teachers from Basehor Elementary nominated him for the program, and his family decided to make the trip to the capital city as well. Frasier said he was exited because his mother Rene, brother Spencer and father Mark, who Frasier described as a "history buff," all got to make the trip and visit many of the same sites he did.

Although Frasier and his family said they felt the opportunity to for him to participate in the forum was an honor, he said he was a little anxious as he was first getting the news at school.

"What they did was pull us out into the hallway to read us the letter," he said. "They made it seem like I was getting in trouble."

Frasier, an honor roll student, said he enjoyed the forum and learned a lot from it, but conceded that the program's busy scheduled made it so it was hard to fully explore everything there was to do and see. For that reason, and to build on the knowledge he accumulated during the last trip, he said he would like to someday make a return trip.

"I would like to go to Gettysburg with my dad and tell him a little bit about what I learned," he said.

The forum was one of many programs that People to People International has facilitated since it was created by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. People to People is now under the direction of Mary Eisenhower, the former president's granddaughter.

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