Chelsea Marshall
Pictured (l to r) are Tom Midkiff (Immediate Past President of Putnam Rotary), his daughter Leah Midkiff, Robin Marshall (Chelsea's mom) and Chelsea Marshall

Chelsea Marshall reports on 'People-to-People'

August 11, 2009

Putnam Rotarians today heard a report from Chelsea Marshall, a Buffalo High student who worked six months to raise the $5,000 necessary to be a participant in the People-to-People Ambassadorial Scholarship Program.

CChelsea set up her own internet web site. She sold food at public events. She placed donation buckets at local businesses. She approached civic organizations, including Putnam Rotary. And she Buffalo 10th-grader succeeded in raising the tuition and travel costs.

Students are selected for People-to-People on the basis of leadership skills and scholarship.

Chelsea has set her sights on foreign diplomatic service. "I've always liked politics and would rather be with something that promotes peace rather than violence," she told the Putnam Standard.

With her Ambassadorial Program, she was well underway. The scholarship experience included visits to New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C.

From residential quarters at Columbia University, Chelsea visited Ellis Island and made a ten-mile tour of Manhattan. Her group met a former Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations and visited the great hall of the General Assembly.

She visited government buildings and monuments in Washington, including some foreign embassies. At the Saudi Arabian embassy, they received the "highest honor," a Saudi national flag -- which now hangs in the People-to-People headquarters in Spokane.

They heard a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and received tickets to the permanent exhibit. "I don't think a lot of people handled it too well," said Chelsea.

Part of the Ambassadorial Program included a "trade-up" exercise. At the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour, a serviceman gave them his most valuable possession -- a two-year patch from his uniform for service in Iraq.

The "new ambassadors" mailed the patch back to the soldier together with several letters to his children, "thanking them for loaning their father to his country."

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