MHS junior expands her global view in Paraguay


Marshalltown High School junior Abbey Welden holds the flag of Paraguay during her youth ambassador trip to the South American country this summer.

Welden was a US Youth Ambassador this summer

Marshalltown High School junior Abbey Welden said in many ways one summer trip to South America has changed her for the better. Welden has returned from a month in Paraguay as part of the US Youth Ambassadors Program.

“It exceeded all of my expectations,” she said.  “Just to be immersed in a culture and experience it first hand.”

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

While in Paraguay, she worked with a foundation to help those in need in the community, visited schools and stayed with a host family there. Abbey enjoyed the experience so much that she is already looking into other ways to study abroad next summer.

“There is so much to be gained by working toward being a global citizen,” Welden said.

Dual Language program her get started
Abbey is a big advocate of the dual language program in Marshalltown Schools and remembers knowing only a few words in Spanish when she started in the program as a kindergarten student. By the time Abbey was in fourth grade, she was fluent in Spanish.

“I was already taking steps to be a global citizen,” she said.

See a video of her trip below.



Abbey Welden is pictured speaking to school children in Paraguay.