Local student going to British Isles this summer

Ashley Ford, who will be entering 9th grade in the fall at TAHS, will be heading across the ocean next month for a 3-week trip to the British Isles – visiting England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The trip is sponsored by the People to People Student Ambassador Program and she will be one of 44 students from Pennsylvania and several other states who were chosen to participate. Ambassador applicants are interviewed carefully and evaluated before they are accepted. Each applicant must be recommended for the program by a teacher, former Student Ambassador or by a national academic listing. Because of the educational elements represented in the program, students are often able to receive high school or college credit for their participation. The People to People Program was founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower over 50 years ago, in 1956. He believed that if people from different cultures could come together in peace and friendship, countries would eventually do the same. Since its founding, People to People has launched a number of programs, including Sister Cities and Project HOPE. Student Ambassadors today have the opportunity to travel to 34 countries on all seven continents. People to People’s close relationships with international friends and partners, and the Presidential legacy of the programs allow program directors to provide exclusive, high-level access to even the most remote destinations.
In addition to the museums, cultural arts and educational programs, many other activities are planned for the students, including soaring high on the “London Eye”, the world’s largest Ferris Wheel, meeting members of British Parliament – possibly even the Queen – and joining the Beefeaters in the infamous Tower of London. Other activities include exploring medieval Edinburgh Castle and Warwick Castle, rappelling down the 90-foot tower of Penrhyn Castle in Wales as part of a leadership training adventure, whitewater rafting in Scotland, joining in the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster, dangling upside-down to kiss the famous Blarney Stone to get the “gift o’ the gab” and watching sheepdogs tend their flock in Ireland.
Student Ambassadors and leaders seek to display the best characteristics of our country: hope, courage, openness and a love of peace. President John F. Kennedy said of the program: “The nature of People to People activities is as varied as the individuals involved. The housewife whose recipe contains the yeast of kindness, the soldier whose arms embrace homeless waifs, the doctor who heals with humility, all assert a single theme – the power of people, acting as individuals, to respond imaginatively to the world’s need for peace.”
Ashley is a student at Tyrone, a member of the National Junior Honor Society, she is on the JV basketball and track teams, and a member of Wesley United Methodist Church. She will be heading for Pittsburgh on July 10 to fly to London and she’ll return July 30. She has worked hard to raise the money needed for this trip, which includes transportation, meals, accommodations, and educational activities. She has reached her goal with the help of family, friends, her church, and several local businesses. She is very grateful as she couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.