NEWBURYPORT — Seventeen-year-old Devon Shuman, a senior at Triton Regional High School, has seen more parts of the world than many do in their entire lifetime. And it’s all because of his determination to make it happen through the organization People to People International.
Shuman has been involved in the organization for more yhan five years, and has traveled to Japan, Ecuador, South Africa, and Peru, his most recent trip this summer.
“It has been the most amazing experience to visit all these places,” Shuman said. “Being part of People to People is one of the best things I have ever done.”
People to People International is a non-profit organization that was established in 1956 to enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities. To travel as a student ambassador with the group, one has to be recommended by a teacher or someone already in the program. For Shuman, his recommendation came from his sister, who was already involved in the program. Shuman then progressed through the application and interview processes before he was accepted. The trips usually cost between $6,000 to $7,000 and participants are responsible for the entire amount.
For Shuman, his job as a Daily News carrier in his Newburyport neighborhood, which he has held for almost four years, has helped earn money for the trips, as have some unique fundraisers he’s done with his sister. (His parents also provided half of the cost for each trip.)
The most memorable fundraiser, as Shuman tells it, was the one where he and his sister placed pink flamingos on neighbors’ lawns and would remove them for $10 each, or place them on someone else’s lawn for $15. “It didn’t really earn us too much money, but it sure was a lot of fun, and my neighbors were great to participate,” Shuman said.