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Eden fifth-grader chosen to go on trip of a lifetime

Eden fifth grader Jessica Hall is going to help do her part to promote peace around the world, as she has been chosen to participate by People to People as part of a 12 day trip to Canada in July.

“People to People was started in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower,” Hall said.

The trip – which will be from July 11-22 – will start in Vancouver and ultimately conclude in Calgary with a trip to Olympic Park, which was used in 1988 for the Winter Olympics.

Among the activities will be whale watching, climbing a glacier, and swimming in a hot spring, Hall said.

Also as a lover of paleontology, Hall is excited about another activity that will be part of the trip.

“We’re going to the biggest dinosaur museum in the world,” she said.

Throughout the course of the trip, Hall said she is looking forward to is the opportunity to build and stay inside of a tee-pee.

“I’m staying with the First Nations (Indian Tribe) for a couple nights,” she said.

The process began when the Hall’s received a letter in the mail from People to People about the program.

“What’s People to People?” Hall said they questioned.

As Jessica learned more about the organization, the more she wanted to try and be chosen for the experience.

As part of the process, she had a few of her teachers to write about her, including one who said she “blew the roof down” when she sang ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ during a performance at school last year.

When she was ultimately chosen, she was not home when the letter came but smiled as she recalled her excitement when she got the news.

After that she began attending meetings, which included discussing topics that ranged from how to pay for the trip, hotel safety, learning about places where People to People have been and even how to pack for the trip.

Hall said she was shown how to roll up her clothes as a way to preserve space in her backpack.

She even joked that when the family went on a recent vacation, she practiced rolling up her clothes to be better prepared for her trip in July.

Overall, she said there are about 10 students chosen from the Buffalo area that will join other groups from around New York State that will be part of the People to People delegation to the Canadian Rockies.

There will also be a service component to the trip as part of each of these activities, with a theme of “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.”

Hall will also have to do fundraising and is planning a “Traveling Flamingo” fundraiser and will be planning a yard sale as well.

Jessica is also no stranger to helping serve. As a Girl Scout she has been involved in projects such as beach cleanups and added she enjoys helping others.

Hall gets a big smile on her face and she excitedly looks forward to her experience with People to People as she prepares to go on a trip of a lifetime.
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