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School Follows Wayne County Native’s Summit of Mount Everest

HONESDALE -- Wendy Gustin stood on top of the earth's highest mountain. The woman who grew up in Wayne County recently climbed Mount Everest and told the tale of her journey to some elementary students at Stourbridge Primary Center in Honesdale where her cousin is a teacher.

Newswatch 16 spoke to her through Skype at her home in Colorado.

"I have climbed for years and always had the goal that eventually I wanted to climb Mount Everest," Gustin said.

After years of saving and months of planning and training, Wendy finally took the ultimate climb.

She left for Nepal in March and summited on May 22.

"You kind of have to go into a zone. You have to stay really focused. I always say with climbing and mountaineering, mental toughness is 80 percent and physical fitness is probably 20. Some people might disagree and say it's 50-50, but your mind can take over on you so you have to stay really focused."

The students followed Wendy along her trek and even made some signs of encouragement while she was on her journey. They say it was nice to be able to get a firsthand experience from someone who made it to the top and learn how much work goes into it.

"Oh, we got to learn how high it was, Skype Wendy when she was home, and see all of her equipment," said second-grader Craig Stiles.

"Wendy said you can do anything if you just believe in yourself," added second-grader Cailyn Bunting.

Also in the classroom for the Skype session was Wendy's mother Linda Gustin.

"Incredibly proud," said Linda. "She has wanted to do this for a long time and she did it. We are very proud of her, very proud."

"Everyone has their own Everest, but there is nothing that is impossible and don't be afraid of feeling that fear," said Wendy. "It's OK to be a little bit afraid, but don't let it hold you back."

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