"I have long believed, as have many before me, that peaceful relations between nations require mutual respect between individuals." - President Dwight D. Eisenhower
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower hosted a team of American leaders in creating the People to People Student Ambassador Programs. The program sends America's youths to other countries in the hopes that meeting and getting to know people in other lands might bring peace to the volatile world in which they reside.
People to People encouraged its ambassadors to open their eyes to the world surrounding them, to look past differences and notice similarities. When ambassadors see that people are simply people regardless of which continent they live on, which language they speak, or what religion they follow, it's easier to create bonds that endure cruelty, hate and controversy.
Two Hagerstown teens who went through the People to People program this summer sat down and discussed their adventure. Twins Laura and Beth Wagner, 14, freshmen at North Hagerstown High School, traveled from Sydney to Cairns on Australia's east coast for three weeks in early July.