PHOENIX AREA STUDENTS EAGER TO BE AMBASSADORS
June 17, 2006
(Phoenix, AZ) 31 ARE VISITING 10 SISTER CITIES THIS SUMMER
Author: Corinne Purtill and Amanda Anderson, The Arizona Republic Estimated
printed pages: 3
One's an anime fan heading to Japan. One will explore the castles of Prague.
Another plans to check out Italy's beaches.
Amanda Peterson, Mark Fletcher and James Edmunds, all students at Desert Vista
High School in Ahwatukee Foothills, are among 31 high school juniors who will
serve as youth ambassadors and travel to Phoenix's 10 sister cities.
The Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, sponsored by Phoenix Sister Cities,
allows young people from around the world to learn about and experience each
other's cultures. The program considers projects such as this to be important
tools to help build bridges of understanding and international goodwill. The
participating families create friendships and memories that often last a
High school juniors are selected on the basis of their communication skills,
maturity, flexibility, leadership and self-confidence. The students'
departures run from June 17 to 29. They will live with a host family in their
designated city for three weeks, then reciprocate and house their host family's
son or daughter in July.
What the students lack in language skills they make up for in enthusiasm.
"I can say ciao. That's about it," said Peterson, 17, who is going to the
Sicilian city of Catania, Italy.
The ideal student ambassadors are outgoing and open to new experiences, said
Misty Cisneros, a program manager for Phoenix Sister Cities. Selections were
announced in March.
The students chosen "are very well-rounded students who have a good knowledge of
Phoenix, the U.S. and the American lifestyle," Cisneros said.
"We thought they'd be a good representation of the typical American teenager."
Fletcher, 17, a member of Desert Vista's volleyball team who dabbles in break
dance, just e-mailed the teenage son of his host family to introduce himself.
His trip to Prague, Czech Republic, will be his only voyage outside the country
besides a family vacation to London when he was 10. He is ready to roll.
"I'm stoked," he said.
Himeji, Japan, was the first choice for James Edmunds, who is a fan of Japanese
animated cartoons, or anime. The 16-year-old is a member of Desert Vista's anime
club and is eager to go to the source.
"I really wanted to experience it firsthand," he said.
Peterson's first passport arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. She has it tacked
onto a bulletin board at home and is saving money for shopping trips in Italy.
A member of Desert Vista's student council, she helped to plan the school prom
this year. She's also in charge of organizing a miniprom in the fall for the
youth ambassadors and their exchange students.
Others teen ambassadors selected are:
* Calgary, Canada: Destiny Huynh, Phoenix Country Day School, and Stephanie
Bacher, Shadow Mountain High School.
* Catania, Italy: Elizabeth MacDonnell, Xavier College Preparatory.
* Chengdu, China: Ashley Susan, Moon Valley High School; Carlos Hernandez,
Washington High School; Emma Frick, Notre Dame Preparatory; and Manuel Gomez,
North High School.
* Ennis, Ireland: Adam Bloch, Chaparral High School; Alana Caron, North High
School; Alyssa Hitt, 91st Psalm Christian High School; and Meagan Hawk, Phoenix
Christian High School.
* Grenoble, France: Lauren Frome, Sunnyslope High School, and Mathew Cowlin,
Phoenix Country Day School.
* Hermosillo, Mexico: Alex Rose-Quillard, North Canyon High School, and
Christina Olsen, Arizona School for the Arts.
* Himeji, Japan: Amanda Martiny, Xavier College Preparatory; Celeste Irvin,
Cesar Chavez High School; John Sours, Brophy College Preparatory; Nicole Sowby,
Central High School; Nina Ulloa, North High School; and Ryne Barry, Thunderbird
* Prague, Czech Republic: Kimberly Delnoce, Arcadia High School.
* Ramat-Gan, Israel: Amyann Freberg, Arizona School for the Arts, and Heather
Price-Wright, North High School.
* Taipei, Taiwan: Catherine Kessler, Arcadia High School; Christina Dugan,
Xavier College Preparatory; Katherine Moodey, North High School; and Stacey
Wilkinson, Veritas Preparatory.
Since the exchange program began in 1988, approximately 400 students have
participated. If you want your teenager to be a youth ambassador next year,
visit phoenixsistercities.org or call (602) 534-3751.
CAPTION: Desert Vista High School students (from left) James Edmunds (Japan),
Amanda Peterson (Italy) and Mark Fletcher (Czech Republic) will represent
Phoenix this summer.
Section: Phoenix Community North
Index Terms: JUVENILE
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permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: pho137407671