By THERESA PETERSON
KINGSFORD - A Kingsford High School student has been invited on a service trip to Europe this summer as a student ambassador in the People to People International Organization.
Rachel Schroeder of Kingsford is currently fund-raising for the tuition of the program that will take her to Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France this June.
The People to People Ambassador program was started by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 with the vision of giving everyday citizens of different countries opportunities to meet and get to know each other with the result being understanding, friendship and lasting peace.
The cost of the 19-day service trip is approximately $7,500 and Schroeder has currently raised approximately $5,000 for the program.
She is looking to local businesses and residents to help her raise the rest of the tuition before she leaves on June 26.
Although she isn't sure exactly what service she will be providing on this specific trip, previous trips had students help clean beaches after hurricanes and tsunamis, rescuing baby sea turtles that couldn't make it to the ocean and cutting peat to heat homes for elderly citizens.
"I really want to help people," said Schroeder who considers this trip "the biggest adventure of my life."
The students will be staying with different families in each country and they will be doing whatever the family does.
"If I am in a home with a student near my own age I will go to school with that student each day. I want to learn about the people in each country." she said.
This will be Schroeder's first time out of the country and longest stretch of time away from her family, but she is excited about the experience.
Several other delegates from the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin are also invited to take part in the adventure.
Schroeder is currently a junior at KHS and is involved in rocketry and drama.
She loves to draw, paint, cook and bake. She loves animals and has been a volunteer at the Almost Home Animal Shelter since 2010.
She is the daughter Kent and Kristine Schroeder. She also has two brothers, Ben is 13 and Nick is 17.
When she graduates from high school, she wants to study zoology and/or marine biology.
A cook-out and car wash fund-raiser will be held Saturday, May 4, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Kingsford from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Donations can be made to the "Rachel Schroeder Fund" and mailed to N3415 Four Seasons Drive in Iron Mountain, dropped at the First National Bank of Iron Mountain-Kingsford, or via Paypalfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorships will be acknowledged at OperationEuropeanAdventure.weebly.com.
For more information on People to People Ambassador Programs, contact Alison Schlag, delegation leader at 715-36-2540.
Theresa Peterson's e-mail address is email@example.com.