Jaelina Mitchell wants to go to Japan this summer as an ambassador for 4-H, but the money is not there.
The Stryker High School Freshman needs $9,000 to go for two months and has only raised $1,000. The fundraising is lagging due to a lack of knowing where to go and the upbringing of her mother. “I was raised you don’t ask someone to pay for your wants,” Toni Mitchell said. She has had to deal with health problems and has not been available to schedule car washes. “We made requests to businesses and churches and for the most part have heard nothing back.”
Time is running out and the family would appreciate any help at all. Jaelina has not received and answer from the Bryan Eagles but has from the 4-H Endowment Fund. “We are getting near to using our credit cards,” Toni said in desperation. “It’s pay as you go.”
Fifteen-year-old Jaelina wants to spend two months in Japan to expand her horizons and try out her skills speaking and reading Japanese. She picked up the language through books, movies, anime and other sorts of media, she said.
Jaelina is supposed to join four other Ohio students June 9. “Only 20 (kids) can go for two months,” Jaelina said.
The first month she will spend with a host family in Tokyo. While there she will have someone she doesn’t have at home, a sibling. In July, she is supposed to go to a second family.
“I hope it’s rural,” Jaelina said.
Jaelina has been involved with 4-H for a couple of years. She raises chickens at her parents rural property. “I just love them,” Jaelina said.
While her parents are supportive of her desire to go on the trip, international tensions with North Korea stay in the back of Toni’s mind.
But the experience is allowing Jaelina to experience milestones. May 4, she was able to get a driver’s permit, a requirement to go.
In the meantime, she is enjoying her Spanish and history classes at school and being in the band where she plays clarinet.
If anyone wants to help, the family asks for donations sent to their house at 17655 SR 34, Bryan OH, 43506. “Every little bit helps, no amount is too small,” Toni said. “It will be accepted graciously,” Jaelina said.