My husband and I first learned of P2P last year when my daughter received an exclusive, invitation only, chance of a life time to represent America and (quoted from web-site) learn hands-on cultural experiences, behind-the-scenes access to fascinating people and places, and amazing outdoor adventures to create life-changing educational experiences.
My husband and I were extremely proud of our daughter for earning such a wonderful privilege and I kid you not that 14 year old girl jumped up and down on the couch screaming like a banshee and crying because she was so happy. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that my daughter not only deserved this rare opportunity but she earned it as well.
The official and very important looking letter (complete with an embossed seal impression) starts out claiming how special and lucky my child is to have been nominated by (quote from letter) a former ambassador, teacher or public official. I thought it was odd that there wasn't a name for the nominator because I really wanted to contact them and thank them for such a wonderful gift. No one she knows was or is an ambassador. I visited my daughter's school and inquired as to who may have nominated her. The principal and none of the office staff knew what I was talking about. They informed me that if a teacher did nominate her they'd call me so that I may contact them. No teacher in her entire high school has ever nominated a child for this program. So was it an elected official? Short answer: No. The closest thing she has ever had an experience with an elected official was when she was 9 and she snatched a stray cat away from our small town dog catcher and brought it home and hid in the closet because she thought he was hurting her. I'm thinking the dog catcher doesn't apply to this situation however, we kept the cat. :) So now I'm thinking, Who in the world gave my daughters personal information to these people? In a nutshell: If your child has ever received anything in the mail, like a magazine subscription then their name was SOLD to P2P. Also, if one of their friends decides to play a prank on them and nominate your child (which is VERY easy to do) then they rope them in with that. Nice people, huh?
Reading further along I see hints about fund raising for the trip. There was nothing strange about that to me. After all, nothing is free. I simply thought I'd pay for her expenses myself. I had no problem paying for HER meals, HER room and board and HER extra spending money for souvenirs or emergency money. Boy oh boy was I shocked when I learned the real reason they want to send your kids out to beg for money.
By naming Dwight D. Eisenhower as the founder of the organization and further explaining that eight other US presidents have served as honorary chairmen, it leads one to believe, quite cleverly, that this program is federally funded. This, in and of itself, is an obvious misleading on the part of P2P and should either A.) Be forced to give complete, full information regarding this program or B.) Be shut down for fraud.
This part is great folks; I finish the reading the letter and decide that, for my daughter's sake, I should do some research, make a few phone calls and I even reserved a spot for the meetings. And then I started flipping through the rest of mail and much to my surprise, I (yes me- 32 y/o married mom) was ALSO nominated by a former ambassador, teacher or public official. Well gee- thanks a lot but a few years to late, don't cha think?
P2P blatantly lies from start to finish. How could anyone trust their child to people who can't tell the truth?
Some things to think about-
Price for one child going with P2P to Australia - $5,600.00
A few tours for the kiddies and a nice vacation (at your expense) for the leaders.
Price for a family of three going to Australia (includes round trip tickets, accommodations and car rental) - $3060.00 that leaves $2540.00 and Australia has numerous tours, culture education, wild life studies and anything else our heart desires within our very modest budget.
Don't take my word for this though do a simple search and see exactly why the prices for these fake nominations are so high.