People to People International Brings the World to Kansas City

Students from eight countries awarded scholarships to Global Youth Forum

Kansas City, MO, USA – Sept. 2, 2014:  People to People International (PTPI) announces that 20 students representing eight countries will benefit from scholarships to PTPI’s annual Global Youth Forum.  Students ages 13-18 will converge in Kansas City from Nov. 5 to 9, 2014 for a program designed to help them develop their leadership skills and cultural knowledge to become the global leaders of tomorrow. 

With its world headquarters in Kansas City, People to People International has served as a leader in cross-cultural connections for nearly six decades.  The 2014 Global Youth Forum will link students in the United States with students from Egypt, Canada, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Philippines, Rwanda, and Serbia. As they have since the Global Youth Forum was launched in 2002, students arrive with a mix of apprehension and excitement. They depart with a solid foundation that underscores their significant role in the world.

“Our youth today are inundated with media images that illustrate the levels of fear and distrust escalating in our communities and around the world,” said Clark Plexico, PTPI’s president and CEO.  “We believe that equipping students to build cross-cultural relationships today, will help convert that cycle of fear and misunderstanding into a cycle of compassion, tolerance, and mutual respect. It is essential in our neighborhoods, it is essential in our nations, and it is as critical today as it was when PTPI was founded during the Cold War.”

The theme of this year's Global Youth Forum is Learn to Serve, Serve to Learn.  The curriculum features more than 10 hours of educational workshops, community service work, as well as cultural and social activities to inspire them and help forge connections with like-minded peers.  They return to their home communities with the skills necessary to lead and work across borders, and a commitment to making a positive difference in the world.

Global Youth Forum scholarships are possible through the generous gifts of the Hall Family Foundation and Ambassador and Mrs. Charles Hostler, of San Diego, Calif. They were awarded based on the student’s leadership potential and interest in cultural knowledge.

Martin Tomlinson, a scholarship winner from Baldwin City, Kan., said, “I hope to apply the leadership skills I learn through PTPI to further my future career. Going to the Global Youth Forum will start me on this path by helping me learn about the world, about politics in other countries, and about other cultures.” 

Tomlinson hopes to study political science, philosophy, and anthropology.  He added, “I hope to meet professionals and other teens from around the world who, like me, are interested in making the world a better place to live for everyone.”

Among the 20 international scholarship recipients, four are from the Kansas City area. They are: 
• Sydney Carnes, Overland Park, Kan.
• James Patterson III, Kansas City, Mo.
• Kathleen Smithson, Lenexa, Kan.
• Martin Tomlinson, Baldwin City, Kan.

Founded in 1956 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, People to People International (PTPI) believes that a network of culturally knowledgeable global citizens will be an active force in creating and sustaining a more peaceful world.  An NGO and not-for-profit 501(c)3 with its world headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., USA, People to People International offers programs that have impacted more than 160 countries and 272 chapters. PTPI offers multinational experiences that foster cross cultural learning, develop global leadership skills, and connects people to an international network of individuals committed to making a positive difference in the world.  To learn more about PTPI and its extensive international programs for youth and adults, go to