The winner of the September 2009 travelBIGO Punzabo Award (and $100) is John Vitello! His essay entitled “My Trip To Boston” tells of his learning experience and personal growth at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in July 2008, just after his 17th birthday. During this conference, John not only learned a lot about the medical field, but he also discovered the simplicity of human interaction and his ability to make friends just about anywhere.
Born in Pomona, New Jersey, John currently resides a few miles away in Hammonton, located halfway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. John describes his hometown as a fantastic place to live and grow up. Proud of Hammonton’s agriculture, John states, “It is the Blueberry Capital of the World so you can imagine we are surrounded by blueberry fields.”
Currently a senior in high school, John is very diligent in his studies tackling a myriad of Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Although he is not certain which college he would like to attend yet, John is positive that medicine is in his future. He explained his passion, “I intend to study dentistry.”
An avid traveler, John’s trip to Boston was minor in comparison to his other travel experiences. He also journeyed to Italy in the summer of 2009 and was excited to experience the culture, history, art and customs of the Italian people; although, these were not the best part of his voyage. He said, “The food was an added bonus!”
John also hopes to make the trip across the pond at least one more time before he ventures off to college in the fall of 2010. His school is planning a trip to Ireland and John is hopeful that he will have the opportunity to attend.
In addition to travel and medicine, John has a real enthusiasm for baseball. He recently received the title of Defensive Player of the Year and also, this past season, John hit the most home runs on his team. He explained his love for the game, “I love baseball and have been playing for a long time… I hope to play at the college level.”
John is honored to have been chosen as the Punzabo Winner this month. He said, “I am very excited that I won the Punzabo award…we had a great time in Boston and making this video so it makes the award extra special.”
Submitted to the travelBIGO site in early August, John’s essay is the fastest winning Punzabo in history of the award. Eager to share his work with friends and family, John sent the link to them and received great ratings. He explained, “I think everyone at the forum enjoyed the video and passed the word on about it being on travelBIGO.”
Help pick next month’s Punzabo winner (PunzaboAward rules for Travel Journals) by rating all the stories you read on travel BIGO. And remember, you can be next!
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