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Callaway teens seek funding to tour Europe as ambassadors in People to People program

Zach Wolfe and Dylan Riehe, both of Callaway. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

The year 2014 will be a year to remember for two sophomores from Detroit Lakes High School.

Zach Wolfe and Dylan Riehle, both of Callaway, were accepted into a national ambassador program called People to People.

The 50-year-old program, which was started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, assembles students from all over the U.S. for whirlwind trips to different parts of the world as a way of promoting global citizenship.

Zach and Dylan will be leaving sometime this summer for a 20-day trip to Europe, visiting seven different countries including England, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.

“I got a letter back in mid-July that I had been nominated for it,” said Zach, who says the program doesn’t indicate who nominates the candidates.

 The pair will be part of about a dozen high school students from throughout the United States to take part in the ambassador program.

The idea behind the People to People program is to give young leaders more global awareness, cultural intelligence, tools for academic success and an awareness of world-wide service programs.

“We’ll be helping out with some community service projects while we’re there,” said Zach, who says he’s always wanted to go to Europe. “And now this is exceeding those dreams,” he added.

 Dylan, who calls himself a big history buff, says he’s excited to dig into the older side of Europe.

“It’s going to be amazing — visiting the beaches of Normandy in France … I love World War II history and have wanted to go there for a long time,” he said, also excited to visit Germany where he has ancestral roots.

The boys will also be going to the English Parliament building and will get to rappel down the side of an English castle.

“I’m hoping to get experience, finding out what it’s like in the world and see what’s happening in these different countries and see what they do in their normal lives compared to what we do here in the U.S.,” said Zach.

Both students say they’re looking forward to sharing their real-live history and geography lessons with fellow students when they return.

“I think actually visiting these places gives you way more knowledge than reading about them in text books,” said Zach.

Although this will be the first time either boys will be traveling overseas, it won’t be cheap and it won’t be easy.

They will be required to come up with a total of $8,000 each, and while they’re waiting to see if any scholarships will come through for them via the People to People program, they are busy trying to raise money.

The students have sent out letters to various business around the area asking for sponsorships or the opportunity to raise funds through office cleaning, filing or whatever is needed.

So far they say they’ve gotten some sponsorship, but still have a long way to go.

They say they are also planning a concert in April at Dylan’s house with local musician Charlie Roth in the hopes of raising money through free will donations at the door.

“All of the new things I’ll be learning over there…” said Dylan, “I know I’ll remember forever.”

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