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Eighth-grader casts eyes on Australia

Twelve Bridges student raising funds for exchange program
By: Julia Schaeffer Special to The News Messenger
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My name is Julia Schaeffer. I am an eighth-grader at Twelve Bridges Middle School. I have lived in Lincoln all my life. My older siblings have attended Lincoln schools since kindergarten, and are graduates of Lincoln High School. I currently maintain a 4.0 GPA, I am active on the school leadership team and am a member of the yearbook staff. I appreciate and thank the people of Lincoln whose generous contributions enabled me to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington D.C. in 2006. I was recently interviewed and accepted to be a delegate of the People to People Student Ambassador Program. President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded the organization in 1956. He believed that if people from different cultures could come together in peace and friendship, so eventually would countries. The objective of the program is to promote international understanding while building leadership skills among American's youth. The 19-day experience to Australia and New Zealand includes meetings with government officials, interaction with other students my age, educational activities, and home stays with host families. People to People Student Ambassadors are carefully interviewed and evaluated before their acceptance and I am honored to have been selected. Personally, I am looking forward to learning more about the world and gaining a better understanding of the culture and history of the Land Down Under. I want to present a positive image of America to the people I meet. Upon my return, I hope to share my experience with our community. The program tuition is $6,500, which includes all transportation, accommodations, meals and educational activities. I hope to raise most of the funds that I need to attend this conference. My parents are willing to provide the remaining amount needed. However, I would rather raise the funds myself. I am asking for your support in one or more of four ways: I will be collecting CRV glass, plastic and aluminum containers. I will have regularly scheduled pick-up dates in Lincoln each month through May 2008. If you would like to be on my route, please contact me. Items can also be dropped off at my residence. Do you have pesky pennies scattered around your house? Your loose change can help me to achieve my goal. Contact me to arrange for pick-up or look for me and my penny jar at Lincoln civic events. I will be having a yard sale in May 2008. I will begin collecting items to be sold in January 2008. If you have saleable unwanted items to donate, please contact me. Finally, sponsorship funds in any amount that you would like to donate will be greatly appreciated. If you have questions regarding the People to People Student Ambassador Program or anything else, please contact me or call them at (800) 669-7882. Their Web site is www.studentambassadors.org. Thank you in advance for any help you may provide. Julia Schaeffer can be reached at (916) 645-1765 or by e-mail at ginnylee57@hotmail.com.