Jordan Curcuruto is embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. The
11-year-old Burbank girl and 29 other Southern California students
leave July 10 on a two-week trip to Australia as representatives of
People to People.
The national organization, founded in 1956 by President Dwight D.
Eisenhower, fosters global cross-cultural friendships among students.
Jordan said she was surprised when she learned she had been
selected, but she knows the experience will be a positive one.
“I’d like to come back ... knowing about a different place, and
knowing that people are just the same even though they may be of a
different culture,” she said.
Initially, Jordan was considered for the trip because of her high
SAT 9 test scores, but a subsequent interview with People to People
delegation leader Stephanie Haddock sealed the deal.
She told Jordan, “ ‘I’m very impressed with you. I just know
you’re going,’ ” said Adele Curcuruto, Jordan’s mother.
Jordan, who enters Jordan Middle School in September, hopes the
trip will give her self-esteem and confidence. But Haddock believes
Jordan already possesses those qualities.
“I found her to be very mature, well-spoken and confident when we
interviewed,” she said.
Knowing that the group will travel a long way from home, Haddock
said it is important to choose students like Jordan who are mature,
who can handle different situations and who are diplomatic.
“These students are ambassadors of the U.S.,” Haddock said. “Part
of the purpose is to get kids from different countries to know each
While Jordan is in Australia she will visit with students who are
attending school, Haddock said.
“This is going to show her something that even her father and I
haven’t even gotten to see, a whole other way of life,” Adele
Curcuruto said. “We haven’t been out of the country, except for