U.S. Congressman Adam Smith will donate a portion of his Congressional pay raise to Federal Way eighth grade student Vinnie Vallejo, who is raising money to fund his role as a Student Ambassador in the People to People program.

In 1997, the House passed a 2.3% COLA, which amounts to just over $3,000 per year before taxes. After voting against the pay raise, Smith vowed to donate his pay raise to local education and community programs.

“I think Members of Congress are paid appropriately, and I am happy to donate my raise to programs and projects throughout the community,” Smith said. “The People to People program is a very worthy project that teaches students about other countries and cultures and strengthens relations between countries, and I wish Vinnie the best of luck in his travels throughout Europe.”

The $100 donation to Vinnie Vallejo’s Student Ambassadorship is Smith’s first donation of 1999. Smith will personally present the donation to Vallejo TODAY, March 19 at 5:00 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary School, located at 2626 SW 327th St. Federal Way. Vallejo is holding an auction to raise money for the program.

In Vallejo’s role as a student ambassador, he will travel to England, Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland this summer. People to People was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to promote goodwill between youth in the United States and Europe.

Students are chosen based on their academic and community service records. They are required to raise funds for the trip.