MHS student selected to be youth ambassador in Paraguay


Marshalltown High School sophomore Abbey Welden has been selected to be a youth ambassador this summer in Paraguay.

Bilingual sophomore excited for learning opportunities

Abbey Welden saw an opportunity and decided to go for it. Now, the Marshalltown High School sophomore is smiling after being selected as a youth ambassador who will go to Paraguay for a month this summer.

The all-expenses paid journey to the South American country will include meetings with community leaders in Paraguay, cultural presentations and activities and a home stay with a family.

“I think experiencing the culture there is going to be amazing,” Welden said.

The US Youth Ambassadors Program is a program of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and US Embassies.

The application process included submitting essays, letters of reference, and a phone interview.

Helping Abbey achieve this goal was the fact she came through Marshalltown Schools in the bilingual program and is fluent in English and Spanish. Her work in Paraguay will be in the Spanish language and her interview for this selection was almost entirely in Spanish.

She said she wants to use this experience and come back to her community of Marshalltown to be an advocate for the bilingual program in Marshalltown Schools.

“I hope I can represent that it is beneficial for people from all different backgrounds,” Welden said of the bilingual program.

Welden will be gone for a month this summer to Paraguay. She learned about this youth ambassador opportunity from MHS Extended Learning Program teacher Susan Fritzell.

“I’m ecstatic she was selected,” Fritzell said. “I’m telling my students that they have got to take advantage of opportunities.”