DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Students are out thousands of dollars after a music trip was canceled. They were planning to perform for audiences overseas through a company called Voyageurs International. Now, the trip is called off. The company is refunding some money but is withholding almost $2,000 a person.
Being chosen for this 16-day trip is an honor. Isabella Stark was nominated by her band director at Decatur Lutheran High School. Stark worked in a corn field, babysat, did laundry and started making and selling jewelry, all to raise the more-than $6,000 necessary for the trip.
“It’s kindof devastating that… they’re taking advantage of us,” said Isabella’s mom Yocelyng Stark. “Many of the stories that are coming in, they’re similar to hers… that some kids, you know, got second jobs and some parents got second jobs, just to make sure their kids can go to this prestigious once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Voyageurs International is based in Colorado. Stark says she has been in touch with the company to try to get a full refund. She feels they made the decision to cancel prematurely. There is a petition to urge the company to give full refunds to students. That petition already has nearly 2,000 signatures.
We reached out to Voyageurs International. Their voicemail says they are not answering calls because of Colorado’s mandatory lockdown. It asks people with questions or concerns regarding a “cancelation fee” to mail them in.