Author: Danielle McCown

Fort Worth Youth Ambassadors Visit Japan & Prepare for Reciprocal Exchange

FORT WORTH, TX Sister Cities provides unique opportunity for Fort Worth youth

Since 1990, The Harashin Co. of Nagaoka, Japan has funded scholarships for eight Fort Worth students and two teachers to travel there for an educational and cultural enrichment experience. In return, the families of these Fort Worth students host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes.

This program and all the scholarships have been funded by the Hara family and Harashin Co. Ltd. of Nagaoka. For 26 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated.

Fort Worth Harashin scholars include: Henry Chao, Charlie Estes, Valeria Gutierrez, Zoe Nichols-Payne, Jamil Okada, Matthew Ontiveros, Janrose Samson, Shay Smith, and delegation leaders Liliana Hinojosa and Mikako Daniel.

“Exchange programs are a key element in the overall programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities and this unique opportunity for students is no exception,” said Johnny Campbell, Chairman of Fort Worth Sister Cities International. The students depart July 26 for a week-long exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth August 8-16.

On August 14, Fort Worth and Nagaoka Harashin scholars will visit Globe Life Park for Japan America Friendship Night with the Texas Rangers. The students and delegation leaders will have the opportunity to take part in a pre-game flag ceremony on the field.

All student applicants (9th-11th grades) participate in a vigorous selection process including teacher recommendations, essays and personal interviews. The Harashin Scholars are required to attend monthly cultural orientations to further enrich their international experience and prepare them for the exchange.

Exchanges with each of Fort Worth’s eight sister cities provide youth the opportunity to spend 9-15 days with an international host family and experience their history, culture and customs. These students become citizen diplomats through this program.  It gives them a better understanding of other cultures providing them an international education only these programs can offer.

International Students Attend Leadership Academies

Fort Worth, TX: The Art of Diplomacy, Theme of Academies

High school students from around the world will descend on Fort Worth starting July 10.  Students from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Swaziland, along with Fort Worth students, will be in Fort Worth for the 28th International Leadership Academy. The Academy’s goal is to increase communication and leadership skills through team-building and problem-solving using the art of diplomacy.

Since 1989, the International Leadership Academy (ILA) has brought young people from Fort Worth’s 8 sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, nearly 75 participants will converge at Texas Christian University (TCU) July 15 – 30 to share their cultures and learn about citizen diplomacy and its importance in today’s world.

Participants will live on the TCU campus and share a room with students from another country. They will attend classes that are designed to challenge stereotypes, highlight cultures, promote diplomatic dialogue, develop leadership skills, and solve global problems. Activities will also include visits to area businesses, museums, and other cultural venues specific to Fort Worth, as well as a community service project.

This year marks the 13th year of ILA’s middle school program, the Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA), held July 10—14. College students from Toluca, Mexico and Mbabane, Swaziland will serve as facilitators for Fort Worth students who will discuss the same issues as their high school counterparts, gaining international perspectives.

“The students will be challenged to improve and refine their leadership skills and learn how diverse cultures can support common goals. It’s a tremendous opportunity for personal growth,” said Nancy Marchant, ILA and JILA Coordinator.

The closing ceremony for ILA takes place July 29, 10:00 a.m. at TCU’s BLUU Ballroom and is free and open to the public. For more info call 817/632-7100.

Mayor’s International Dinner Big Success

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities Recognizes Global Award Recipients 

Mayor Betsy Price and Dinner Chairs, Becky & Henry Borbolla, lead the crowd of nearly 400 through an evening of international cuisine and entertainment as Sister Cities recognized and honored individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to citizen diplomacy, global understanding, world political stability, and international commerce.

Awards were presented to:

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company – THE GLOBAL NEXUS AWARD
Catholic Charities of Fort Worth –  THE GLOBAL CITIZENS AWARD

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company received the Global Nexus Award as good representatives of Fort Worth to the world, creating commerce and a healthier community for all.

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth was given the Global Citizens Award for their strong representation of Fort Worth by creating a positive view of the U.S. through educational and humanitarian initiatives.

Bob Jameson received the Global Impact Award for his long-time service to the Fort Worth community and development of international partnerships through global business, culture, and tourism.

The event was made possible by the Fort Worth Sister Cities 2017 Members Circle, a network of individuals, organizations, corporations and community leaders committed to expanding global relationships for peace and prosperity at home and abroad.  Funding and in-kind support from the City of Fort Worth plays a key role in its mission, but most work is made possible through public support through the Members Circle.

The dinner was held June 1 to celebrate 32 years of service by Sister Cities to the City of Fort Worth.  Entertainment was provided by the Taiko Drummers, Mariachi Real de Alvarez, Andrea Tullis from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, KJRI Dancers from the Consul General of Indonesia’s office, Swahili Carmel Choir from Christ Chapel Bible Church, and representatives from each of Fort Worth’s eight sister cities.

Sister Cities Partnering With FWISD For 4th Spanish Immersion Camp

Fort Worth, Texas — Local elementary students receiving Spanish enrichment training

Fort Worth Sister Cities International will welcome 10 university students and 2 educators from Toluca, Mexico’s Tec de Monterrey university this week for the 4th Spanish Immersion and Enrichment Camp for elementary students in partnership with the FWISD. The Toluca students will act as international facilitators for the two-week camp ending June 23.

“The FWISD is thrilled to partner with Sister Cities in this way providing our students an opportunity to study Spanish from native speakers. Last year’s camp proved to be very successful with over 125 elementary students participating,” said Elda Rojas Director of the World Language Department for the FWISD.

All Toluca facilitators and educators are being home hosted by local families in order to give these visitors a glimpse into American life and to give the hosting families exposure to Spanish from native speakers as well.

While here the group will also explore local cultural attractions and experience true Texas hospitality. Visits include the Stockyards, AT&T Stadium, the Kimbell Art Museum, Concert in the Gardens, Sundance Square Plaza and more.

Toluca, Mexico is Fort Worth’s closest sister city. Signed in 1998, this partnership has resulted in many exciting programs such as: middle and high school-to-school partnerships including a Model UN program; municipal and economic forums; monarch butterfly tourism exchanges; culture, language, and mentoring programs; a medical school intern program; a City of Fort Worth Police Department training program; and a symposium on women’s issues.