Two Lincoln County high school students will attend the 2013 United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth this coming summer, joining hundreds of other teens from throughout the United States, Canada and other nations to study and learn about the United Nations. Sophia Solano, a junior at Newport High School, and Maria Alvarado, a junior at Waldport High School, were selected by the Lincoln City Odd Fellows Lodge after submitting winning essays about the U.N.’s role in protecting the health and welfare of children, and then participating in a speech competition. Each lodge chooses its own winners and pays their expenses.
“Originally we were only going to send one student, but as we got closer to the deadline we decided we needed to send two of these girls,” explains Babe Bogart, leader of this year’s search. “It is just a blessing to see the ability of these young kids. They are so bright; we just want them to get the chance to see more of the world at an early age.” Both girls are top students in their classes. Solano is an accomplished musician, playing both piano and clarinet, and she also is helping to organize a Model United Nations group at Newport High. Alvarado is editor of the school yearbook as well as being a member of the soccer and basketball teams.
The U.N. Pilgrimage was established by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs in 1949. About 300 students earn a place on the trip each year. In addition to visiting New York City, the 10-day trip also includes tours of Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Ottawa, Canada. (Photos Lincoln County Schools)