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Local student to visit China as part of ambassador program

A Chilton County High School junior is planning to travel to China this summer as part of the People to People ambassador program.

Anna Kelley, 17, was nominated as just one of 40 students from across Alabama — the only one from Chilton County — to participate in the program.

As part of her trip, Kelley will visit Beijing and the Forbidden City, Hong Kong, and the Great Wall of China. She will also see the famous Terracotta Army and Tiananmen Square, stay with a host family in a fishing village, work with Chinese students on their English and meet various community leaders. The trip will last from June 15 through July 1.

“I hope to learn more about how their society works,” said Kelley. “I hope to learn more Chinese [which she has been practicing since signing up for the trip]. I really just want to know more about their culture.”

To help pay for the trip (which will cost between $4,000-$5,000), she has several fundraisers planned for this spring, including a yard sale, gas card raffle and car wash. She also sent out sponsorship letters to family members and friends.

Her mom, Linda Connell, said the trip would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her daughter.

“She has never been out of the country. For her to do something like this is mind-boggling to me,” said Connell.

For more information about Kelley’s trip and her fundraising efforts, call the family at (205) 312-8171.