I'm thankful for the scholarship from the Ambassadors Scholarship Foundation. … The scholarship allowed me to travel to Africa and spend some time working with kids there. I now want to study medicine, become a doctor, and go back.

Four Outstanding Students Named People to People Student Ambassadors of the Year

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ASF News

Students from Minnesota, Arkansas, New Jersey and Nebraska awarded travel scholarship

The Ambassadors Foundation has selected Michael Heim, an 8th grader at Sartell Middle School in Sartell, Minnesota, Peyton Wilson, a 6th grader at Hellstern Middle School in Springdale, Arkansas, Robert Van Fossen, a 10th grader at Triton Regional School in Runnemede, New Jersey and Theresa Kennelly, an 11th grader at Marian High School in Omaha, Nebraska, as its four student ambassadors of 2011.

"We are excited to honor these exemplary students who traveled abroad with People to People Ambassador Programs last year," said Ryan Oelrich, Director of The Ambassadors Foundation. "Providing these scholarships gives us a way to celebrate the importance of building cultural understanding providing students throughout the country with another chance to become citizens of the world by connecting with different cultures directly."

All four students uniquely represent People to People Ambassador Programs. Michael highlighted his dedication to volunteering and the impact that his service project in China with disabled children had in understanding how similar people are across the globe regardless of their abilities. For Peyton, carving an arrowhead of obsidian under the encouragement of a well-known archaeologist re-affirmed her desire to become an archaeologist. Robert found unity and peace in democracy juxtaposed against the war memorial at Normandy Beach, France. Theresa discovered inner confidence rappelling down a tower in Assisi, Italy that allowed her to take new steps like becoming a retreat leader for underclassman at her school and a volunteer advocate for families and children who are marginalized in her community.

For their achievement, Heim, Wilson, Van Fossen, and Kennelly have been awarded full tuition and airfare toward the 2012 Student Ambassador program of their choice, thanks to the generosity of People to People Ambassador Programs whose financial support allowed the Ambassador Foundation to award the scholarships in conjunction with its non-profit partner People to People International.

"Every year we are inspired by our student ambassadors and their stories," said Peg Thomas, president of People to People Ambassador Programs. "This year our Ambassador Foundation selected these four students to represent the incredible spirit and citizenship of all our students. We are honored to award them each an educational travel program in recognition of their outstanding qualities."

People to People Ambassador Programs travel to more than 49 countries on all seven continents and program participants come from over 100 nations. The organization trains more than 5,000 teachers each year who lead students on educational travel experiences, and over 80 percent of students who have traveled on a People to People program report being accepted into their college of choice.

About People to People Ambassador Programs

People to People Ambassador Programs is the world's most recognized and respected educational travel provider. Since the 1960s, more than 500,000 people from around the world have traveled with People to People Ambassador Programs to help further global understanding through cross-cultural exchange.

Offering unmatched safety measures and unparalleled access to foreign cultures and countries, People to People Ambassador Programs promotes personal success in a globalized world and fosters international friendships for both students and professional adults.

People to People Ambassador Programs is the exclusive educational travel provider of People to People International (PTPI), a nonprofit organization founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to promote peace through understanding worldwide. Together, PTPI and People to People Ambassador Programs are united in a mission to bridge cultural and political borders through education and exchange. For more information, please visit www.peopletopeople.com.