Caleb set to discover Denmark
Caleb Stevens is about to embark on an 11- month adventure in Denmark thanks to support from the Tokoroa community.
The 15- year- old Forest View High School student will hop on a plane tomorrow for his AFS student exchange after five months of fundraising and a few hours packing.
But it has been no small task raising the $14,000 fee.
Caleb’s mother Lyn-Marie Stevens said the support from Tokoroa residents had been phenomenal.
Through sausage sizzles, garage sales, raffles, crane rides, individual donations and business sponsorship the community had contributed about $7000, she said.
Another $3000 came from AFS central Plateau co-ordinator Raylene Sommerville.
The former board chairperson of AFS New Zealand was one of three people internationally awarded the Stephen Galatti award for her 30 years volunteer service. With the award came a $3000 scholarship to be distributed to AFS students in her area.
‘‘It’s really cool to see someone going and being able to contribute funding to that.’’
She said she was stoked Caleb put his hand up, otherwise the money would have be spent out of the district.
Caleb chose Denmark over nine other possible destinations without knowing his family ties to the European nation.
After searching an old family tree, Ms Stevens realised Caleb’s AFS family is just 50 kilometres from the home of her greatgrandfather.
Caleb will study at the IBC Business High School, an exciting challenge for a teen who knows limited Danish.
Caleb would like to thank his major sponsors Todd McPhee Crane Hire, Tokoroa Sports World, Tokoroa New World, Tokoroa Auto Electrical and others who have contributed including Tokoroa Bluelight, Holster Engineering, Creative Vision, The Lions Club of Tokoroa City Inc and Lions Club of Tokoroa District.
Light traveller: Caleb Stevens is gearing up for an 11-month AFS exchange with help from co-ordinator Raylene Sommerville.