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Pamela Byrnes Foundation Provides Support for Cultural Immersion Experiences to CHS Students

Photo Courtesy Chelsea Education Foundation, Frank Grohnert, Amy Forehand, Pamela Byrnes, Mike Kapolka, Matt Ceo.

The Pamela Byrnes Foundation is giving Chelsea Education Foundation (CEF) $9,000 to start a program that will provide international immersion participation for high school students. The Pamela Byrnes Foundation was funded by a number of contributors to support the interests of community youth.

The program is envisioned to be a collaborative endeavor with Chelsea School District. Together, they will explore program options that support immersive experiences for students spending time abroad. The first trip is targeted to occur in the summer of 2024. The current vision will provide an opportunity for students to experience cultures in Europe, Asia, South America or Africa.

Details regarding the use of funds will be developed as the program definition is refined. “We are thinking about how to create a pathway for student international experiences that will provide cultural diversity. We will rely on the Chelsea School District to find the appropriate service provider to fulfill the international experience. CEF is happy to connect The Pamela Byrnes Foundation’s generous donation and intention for international travel with the School District’s desire to expand cultural experiences for students. This is an opportunity to build a new sustainable program that CEF can support over time.” shared Amy Forehand, CEF President.

Byrnes shared her commitment to learning and experiencing other cultures, “Much of my career has been focused in the public service sector - as an attorney in Washtenaw County, Road Commissioner, State Representative, and Lyndon Township Supervisor. Byrnes also served as the Executive Director of the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (JSTU) , a program that provides University of Michigan and JSTU students and faculty a platform to engage in engineering education and research in an international setting. My own international experience changed my focus in college and my subsequent career. It is my desire to give Chelsea Students a similar experience.”

“We are looking forward to the next steps in the process to create a sustainable and meaningful international experience for our Chelsea School District students,” said Mike Kapolka, Chelsea High School Superintendent.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to support this endeavor, contact Amy Forehand,

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