Aylesbury High girl’s trip of a lifetime thanks to scholarship

Jane Brownlee Travel Scholarship awarded at Aylesbury High School May 2013. Picture shows Ben Brownlee and recipient Olivia Meisl.
Jane Brownlee Travel Scholarship awarded at Aylesbury High School May 2013. Picture shows Ben Brownlee and recipient Olivia Meisl.
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An Aylesbury schoolgirl is travelling to China to teach English with help from a scholarship set up in memory of a much loved teacher.

Olivia Meisl, 18, is the recipient of this year’s Jane Brownlee Travel Scholarship at Aylesbury High School.

Mrs Brownlee was a popular and respected geography teacher at the school for more than 20 years before her death from cancer in 1998.

Her son Ben said: “She loved travelling. As a family we travelled all over the world including Brazil, Nigeria, Jamaica, the US and Europe. After her death, family, colleagues and pupils gave money to set up a perpetual fund in her memory to enable pupils to develop themselves and the communities they visit.”

The scholarship has been in place for 13 years, with students making written applications which are then read by Mrs Brownlee’s children Ben, who works for the BBC and lives in Weston Turville, and Kate, an assistant US attorney who lives in Seattle.

The winner receives £500 towards their travels.

Ben said: “We chose Olivia this year because she has planned her trip very well, is very enthusiastic and explained how she will raise the money for the trip.”

Olivia, from Upper Winchedon, who is currently studying Spanish, French and History, also hopes to learn Chinese during her six month trip.

She said: “I chose Yunn in China because of the ethnic mix and the amazing scenery.

“To help fund my trip I am making bracelets and selling them at school and I’m getting sponsored for wearing a sumo suit at the prom in June.”

Olivia also works at Next in Aylesbury on Saturdays and is putting some of her savings towards the trip.

She will leave in February next year and on her return will give a presentation at the school and write a report.