Local High School Student Headed to International Institute

By Beacon Staff

Here’s some interesting news about a Flathead High School student:

Ashley Schumacher, a junior at Flathead High School, has been selected to participate in the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Initiative held at Wake Forest University in North Carolina this July.

It seems like a pretty cool program. Now in it’s sixth year, the BFTF is all about learning from those who are different from yourself.

BFTF is designed to foster relationships, principles of freedom and cooperation, and establish positive communications among various ethnic, religious, and national groups. Thirty-one countries will participate in this extraordinary annual learning institute. Only ten (10) students are selected each year to represent the United States. BFTF selects and votes on students from different backgrounds and different walks of life to have a more accurate picture of America. Patterned after Benjamin Franklin’s diplomatic ideals of religious tolerance, social mobility over class privilege and freedom of speech, BFTF selects those that represent America at its best, students striving to achieve and believe in a positive outreach to the world.

Ashley says she plans on using the knowledge she gains at the BFTF to become a better leader in the Flathead, as well as a positive role model.

She’s busy, too, having just completed a session at Girls’ State in Helena:

Ashley recently participated in Montana Girls State supported by the American Legion Auxiliary. She said “it was an amazing experience being able to learn the aspects of local and state government”. She hopes to use what she has learned at Montana Girls State and apply it to the incredible opportunity she now will go on to have at the Ben Franklin Transatlantic Institute by representing the United States and her beloved community.

Good luck, Ashley!

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