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Monday, November 25, 2013

Windham eighth-grader to travel abroad with People to People Ambassador Program - By Elizabeth Richards


Isabella Rosborough was first invited to apply for the People to People Ambassador Program when she was in fifth grade. This July, after a lot of hard work, planning and fundraising, the eighth-grader will take the opportunity to travel with the program. Her trip will span 19 days and take her to France, Italy and England.
The People to People Ambassador Program has taken students of varying ages abroad since 1957. The program travels to a different place each summer. When Rosborough received a letter last summer with the information for this year, she knew it was the trip she wanted to take. “I’ve always wanted to go to Europe,” she said.    


Rosborough is poised and well-spoken, and displayed great motivation and enthusiasm as she discussed the trip. She is looking forward to living with a family for a few days. “I think it’s really cool that we get to stay with a French or Italian family for three days and get to know what they do in their daily life. I’ve always been interested in how other countries differ from America,” she said.


The other thing she is most looking forward to is visiting Normandy. She has a great interest in history, she said, and thinks it will be interesting to visit a place of such historical significance.


The People to People Ambassador Program appealed to her for a variety of reasons. “I think it’s a great opportunity to learn things that you wouldn’t have normally. I’ve always been interested in history and social studies,” she said. “I really like talking to people and meeting new people and I thought this was a really fun way to do it,” she added.


One of the program expectations is to know about the governments and current events in both the United States and the countries they will visit, said Rosborough. The group will meet with a current or former member of the British Parliament while in England. She said she knows some of the basics, but there is a lot to learn before then as well. The meetings she attends with the group will help her prepare.


Rosborough said she is a little nervous, but also excited about the trip. She said that there are no other students from Windham in the Greater Portland group she’ll be travelling with, but she has already connected with a couple of girls that she met at the first meeting. The group will meet every other month to do a variety of things, including asking questions, getting to know you activities, learning local customs and going over program expectations and procedures.


Rosborough said she’s been saving money for the trip since she first heard of the program in fifth grade. Last year, she started selling homemade peppermint bark, knowing that a trip like this was something she wanted to do before her senior year in high school. She is once again making and selling the homemade bark for $10 per pound, $6 for a half-pound, and $3 a quarter-pound. Another fundraising effort is a raffle that her family is putting together. The top prize is a choice between four Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, which can be delivered and set up anywhere in the continental United States. The second through fifth prizes are a choice between four wall and mantel clocks. Tickets, which are being printed now, will be $10 each. In addition to her personal fundraising, the larger group will be doing some fundraising as well.


Rosborough isn’t a stranger to trying new things. Last year, she joined a school group to enter a competition to build a section of a wind turbine. It was the first time the school had taken part in the competition. 


Rosborough’s group came in 27th out of 40 entries, and most of their competition was high school students, since there were only three middle school groups. She is planning to participate in that competition again this year. Rosborough has also been involved in Odyssey of the Mind, recreational soccer, swimming and tennis.

Her father, Bob Rosborough, said the trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Isabella, and said she’s worked hard to raise money, including babysitting, selling the peppermint bark and the upcoming raffle. “We kind of tested the water to see how serious she was,” he said. “She’s very serious about it.”


Isabella said she’s very excited about the trip. She wants to be a power engineer when she gets older, and said that is a very competitive field. “People who go on this trip have a 70 percent higher chance of getting into the college of their choice because colleges really look to see that you’re worldly,” she said.


Anyone interested in buying peppermint bark or raffle tickets can contact Bob Rosborough at 310-8016 or rrosbo2003@yahoo.com.

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