International Leadership Academy Reimagined as Global Leaders in Action

Since 1989, the International Leadership Academy brought young people from Fort Worth’s nine sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. Participants lived on the TCU campus and shared a room with students from another country while attending classes designed to challenge stereotypes, highlight cultures, promote diplomatic dialogue, develop leadership skills, and solve global problems.

This summer, Fort Sister Cities will launch the pilot program of Global Leaders in Action July 11-21, 2024. This program will again bring international students to Fort Worth and encourage students to explore how they see other cultures and understand global influences while using leadership skills to promote world peace through service to their communities. Participants will collaborate with one another to design and implement leadership and cultural training for students in the Fort Worth community.

Global Leaders in Action is led by a team of highly qualified and experienced educators who, along with several international partners, have developed a very interactive program. Educators and local university students will facilitate group learning experiences as the students design and implement their own leadership and cultural competency trainings for younger students at Fort Worth community centers and non-profits.

Sister Cities Hiring Youth & Education Manager

Job type: full-time

Location: in-person

Salary range: $50,000-$65,000

We are looking for a team-oriented individual with experience in program management who will work under the Director of Exchanges and Outreach to manage youth and education programs.

Duties

  • Manage all Youth & Education programs including Youth Ambassador exchanges, Young Artists and Authors Showcase, Fort Worth Youth International, Global Academic Fellows, Dual Language Enrichment Camp, and summer youth leadership academy in Fort Worth.
  • Supervise youth programs and participants, as well as interns
  • Develop and implement youth programs and initiatives to promote cultural competence awareness and knowledge.
  • Provide administrative support for youth-related activities, including budgeting, scheduling, and volunteer management.
  • Recruit, interview and coordinate final selection of participants.
  • Establish and coordinate itineraries and agendas.
  • Organize orientation and training meetings.
  • Correspond with public, educators, students, parents, sister cities colleagues, youth related organizations, and board members.
  • Collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs and make recommendations for improvement.

Experience

  • High school education required. Some college preferred.
  • Two years experience in program management or related field.
  • Experience in international business or communication preferred.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to supervise and motivate a team of volunteers.
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Strong administrative skills with attention to detail and organizational abilities.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.

We offer a competitive salary package with benefits including medical, dental, HSA and Simple IRA matching. If you meet the qualifications listed above and are looking for a challenging new opportunity, please apply today by sending a resume and cover letter to beth@fwsistercities.org.

2023-12-11 05:16

Sister Cities Hiring Youth & Education Manager

Job type: full-time

Location: in-person

Salary range: $50,000-$65,000

We are looking for a team-oriented individual with experience in program management who will work under the Director of Exchanges and Outreach to manage youth and education programs.

Duties

  • Manage all Youth & Education programs including Youth Ambassador exchanges, Young Artists and Authors Showcase, Fort Worth Youth International, Global Academic Fellows, Dual Language Enrichment Camp, and summer youth leadership academy in Fort Worth.
  • Supervise youth programs and participants, as well as interns
  • Develop and implement youth programs and initiatives to promote cultural competence awareness and knowledge.
  • Provide administrative support for youth-related activities, including budgeting, scheduling, and volunteer management.
  • Recruit, interview and coordinate final selection of participants.
  • Establish and coordinate itineraries and agendas.
  • Organize orientation and training meetings.
  • Correspond with public, educators, students, parents, sister cities colleagues, youth related organizations, and board members.
  • Collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs and make recommendations for improvement.

Experience

  • High school education required. Some college preferred.
  • Two years experience in program management or related field.
  • Experience in international business or communication preferred.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to supervise and motivate a team of volunteers.
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Strong administrative skills with attention to detail and organizational abilities.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.

We offer a competitive salary package with benefits including medical, dental, HSA and Simple IRA matching. If you meet the qualifications listed above and are looking for a challenging new opportunity, please apply today by sending a resume and cover letter to beth@fwsistercities.org.

Official delegations from Mexico and Italy

Fort Worth, Texas – Visiting delegations hosted by Sister Cities

Fort Worth Sister Cities International hosted two delegations in November from Fort Worth’s sister cities Toluca, Mexico and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

While in Fort Worth, the groups visited with Fort Worth City Council members and Mayor Parker, as well as, several businesses and cultural sites to learn about Fort Worth and how to engage our cities in mutually beneficial endeavors.

Led by State Congresswoman Monica Gaytan, the Toluca delegation toured the Cultural District and Stockyards, attended the Mayor’s International Dinner in celebration of 25 years of partnership between Fort Worth and Toluca, and participated in the Dia de los Muertos Parade organized by Artes de la Rosa.

“We were thrilled to welcome our guests and show them what Fort Worth has to offer, as well as to celebrate 25 years of friendship which is something to be valued and is more important today than ever before,” said Wilma Lopez, Toluca Chair.

Led by Mayor Luca Vecchi, the Reggio Emilia delegation engaged in several special interest meetings and tours with Mrs. Renfro’s, Dickies Arena, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.

“This visit to Fort Worth is just the beginning of continued growth. The business counterpart meetings created value and experience to think and grow connections internationally,” said Reggio Emilia Chair Sian Borne.

These exchanges would not be possible without the support of volunteers from our city committees. A huge thank you to the members of our Toluca Committee and Reggio Emilia Committee for welcoming our visitors with open arms.

Interested in volunteering for a committee? Email beth@fwsistercities.org.

2023-11-27 10:23

Official delegations from Mexico and Italy

Fort Worth, Texas – Visiting delegations hosted by Sister Cities

Fort Worth Sister Cities International hosted two delegations in November from Fort Worth’s sister cities Toluca, Mexico and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

While in Fort Worth, the groups visited with Fort Worth City Council members and Mayor Parker, as well as, several businesses and cultural sites to learn about Fort Worth and how to engage our cities in mutually beneficial endeavors.

Led by State Congresswoman Monica Gaytan, the Toluca delegation toured the Cultural District and Stockyards, attended the Mayor’s International Dinner in celebration of 25 years of partnership between Fort Worth and Toluca, and participated in the Dia de los Muertos Parade organized by Artes de la Rosa.

“We were thrilled to welcome our guests and show them what Fort Worth has to offer, as well as to celebrate 25 years of friendship which is something to be valued and is more important today than ever before,” said Wilma Lopez, Toluca Chair.

Led by Mayor Luca Vecchi, the Reggio Emilia delegation engaged in several special interest meetings and tours with Mrs. Renfro’s, Dickies Arena, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.

“This visit to Fort Worth is just the beginning of continued growth. The business counterpart meetings created value and experience to think and grow connections internationally,” said Reggio Emilia Chair Sian Borne.

These exchanges would not be possible without the support of volunteers from our city committees. A huge thank you to the members of our Toluca Committee and Reggio Emilia Committee for welcoming our visitors with open arms.

Interested in volunteering for a committee? Email beth@fwsistercities.org.

Youth Ambassadors Selected for 2024

Congratulations to all the students who were selected for Youth Ambassador exchanges in 2024! Students go through a rigorous application and interview process before being selected for travel to one of our sister cities. After selection, students attend cultural orientations to prepare for travel abroad and to get to know the culture of their destination.

A special congratulation to Yaretzi Navarro who received the Yamagata Emerging Leader Scholarship for her excellence in community service and leadership. Yaretzi will be using the scholarship to travel to Reggio Emilia, Italy in the spring.

Bandung, Indonesia

  • Jackson Beck, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Aurora Berberena, Central High School
  • Emma Chorn, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Aspen Guerin, Southwest High School
  • Antti Havia, Home School
  • Angela Hernandez, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Camila Howard, Arlington High School
  • Celeste Jenkins-O’Reilly, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • Gideon Meade, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Eve Meade, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Denise Smith, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Delegation Leaders
  • Imelda Dunlap, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Courtney Upp, Stuard Elementary

Budapest, Hungary

  • Abigail Cawyer, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Kai Jade Cook, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Eva Elmore, Arlington Heights High School
  • Adriana Frederickson Seco, World Languages Institute
  • Kelsie Kopf, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Walker Maxwell, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Amanda Quintana, Northside High School
  • Ava Stubblefield, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Antti Havia, Home School
  • Zoe Schwarz, All Saints Episcopal School
Delegation Leaders
  • Alexis Gross, World Languages Institute
  • Greg Gross, All Saints Episcopal School

Nagaoka, Japan

  • Athena Acuna, Trimble Tech High School
  • Ramon Barajas, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Sloane Criado, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Aiden Dalip, Birdville High School
  • Miranda Downs, Carroll High School
  • Abigail Dzurik, Fort Worth Academy
  • Grace Hackworth, Trinity Valley School
  • Morgan Norman-Scott, World Languages Institute
  • Sofia Rubio, World Languages Institute
  • Keiko Sanchez, Arlington Heights High School
  • Luke Waddell, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Sloane Wessinger, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Zoe Williams, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Emma Woodley, Lamar High School
  • Daniel A. Barreto Zerpa, World Languages Institute
Delegation Leaders
  • Brandy Sapp, IDEA Public Schools
  • Hao Tran, Trimble Tech High School

Nagaoka, Japan – Harashin

  • Lauren Fulmer, Coram Deo Academy
  • Aiden Gutierrez, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Celeste Jenkins-O’Reilly, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • Isabella Rodriguez, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Michael Rodriguez, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • GiGi Schueneman, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Myiesha Sharma, Flower Mound High School
  • Valeria Venegas, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Alternate: Kaylee Crain, Trinity Valley School
  • Alternate: Micah Przymus, World Languages Institute
Delegation Leaders
  • James Gleaton, Tarrant County College
  • Julia King, Deloitte

Nimes, France

  • Kaylee Crain, Trinity Valley School
  • Emanuel Dawkins, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Amelia Guzman, Burleson Centennial High School
  • Miranda Hernandez, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Sean Hong, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Riley Ledesma, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Emily Mendoza, World Languages Institute
  • Joshua Mora, World Languages Institute
  • Jonathan Pulido, World Languages Institute
  • Samantha Quintana, Northside High School
  • Kyle Smith, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Avery Stubblefield, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Victoria Crews, Aledo High School
Delegation Leaders
  • Patricia Anderson, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School
  • Chelsy Beninate, Fort Worth Country Day

Reggio Emilia, Italy

  • Maria Castruita, Northside High School
  • Sophia Cruz, Mansfield Legacy High School
  • Dylan Dews, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Sam Dodson, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Kylah Evans, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Leah Gittens, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Natalia Gusman, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School
  • Aiden Hardin, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Bryanna Jones, Western Hills High School
  • Claire Kauffman, Trinity Valley School
  • Delores Mills, Northside High School
  • Yaretzi Navarro, Western Hills High School
  • Miranda Tapia, Arlington Heights High School
  • Emma Chorn, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Julianna Wood, World Languages Institute
Delegations Leaders
  • Dr. Monica Marchi, Tarrant County College
  • Chloe Marshall, Clifford Davis Elementary School

Trier, Germany

  • Nara Acuña Guba, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Brigid Connors, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Daisy Daniels, Western Hills High School
  • Isabel Gammell, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Nate Hackworth, The Oakridge School
  • Dorothea Hart, Booker T. Washington High School
  • Jack Honeyman, Booker T. Washington High School
  • Nyima Isatou, Kijera Western Hills High School
  • Sofia Marshall, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Micah Przymus, World Languages Institute
  • Daisy Pulido, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Zoe Schwarz, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Arja Singh, Wakeland High School
Delegation Leaders
  • Sara Fairley-Luna, Leadership Fort Worth
  • Austin Johnson, Trinity Valley School

Guiyang, China (in 2025)

  • Mariana Gonzalez, World Languages Institute
  • Dorothea Hart, Booker T. Washington High School
  • Harmon Hong, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Sean Hong, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Micah Przymus, World Languages Institute
Delegation Leaders
  • Krista Forsgren
  • Maggie Green-Wallace

2023-11-14 03:52

Youth Ambassadors Selected for 2024

Congratulations to all the students who were selected for Youth Ambassador exchanges in 2024! Students go through a rigorous application and interview process before being selected for travel to one of our sister cities. After selection, students attend cultural orientations to prepare for travel abroad and to get to know the culture of their destination.

A special congratulation to Yaretzi Navarro who received the Yamagata Emerging Leader Scholarship for her excellence in community service and leadership. Yaretzi will be using the scholarship to travel to Reggio Emilia, Italy in the spring.

Bandung, Indonesia

  • Jackson Beck, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Aurora Berberena, Central High School
  • Emma Chorn, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Aspen Guerin, Southwest High School
  • Antti Havia, Home School
  • Angela Hernandez, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Camila Howard, Arlington High School
  • Celeste Jenkins-O’Reilly, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • Gideon Meade, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Eve Meade, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Denise Smith, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Delegation Leaders
  • Imelda Dunlap, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Courtney Upp, Stuard Elementary

Budapest, Hungary

  • Abigail Cawyer, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Kai Jade Cook, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Eva Elmore, Arlington Heights High School
  • Adriana Frederickson Seco, World Languages Institute
  • Kelsie Kopf, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Walker Maxwell, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Amanda Quintana, Northside High School
  • Ava Stubblefield, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Antti Havia, Home School
  • Zoe Schwarz, All Saints Episcopal School
Delegation Leaders
  • Alexis Gross, World Languages Institute
  • Greg Gross, All Saints Episcopal School

Nagaoka, Japan

  • Athena Acuna, Trimble Tech High School
  • Ramon Barajas, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Sloane Criado, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Aiden Dalip, Birdville High School
  • Miranda Downs, Carroll High School
  • Abigail Dzurik, Fort Worth Academy
  • Grace Hackworth, Trinity Valley School
  • Morgan Norman-Scott, World Languages Institute
  • Sofia Rubio, World Languages Institute
  • Keiko Sanchez, Arlington Heights High School
  • Luke Waddell, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Sloane Wessinger, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Zoe Williams, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Emma Woodley, Lamar High School
  • Daniel A. Barreto Zerpa, World Languages Institute
Delegation Leaders
  • Brandy Sapp, IDEA Public Schools
  • Hao Tran, Trimble Tech High School

Nagaoka, Japan – Harashin

  • Lauren Fulmer, Coram Deo Academy
  • Aiden Gutierrez, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Celeste Jenkins-O’Reilly, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • Isabella Rodriguez, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Michael Rodriguez, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • GiGi Schueneman, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Myiesha Sharma, Flower Mound High School
  • Valeria Venegas, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Alternate: Kaylee Crain, Trinity Valley School
  • Alternate: Micah Przymus, World Languages Institute
Delegation Leaders
  • James Gleaton, Tarrant County College
  • Julia King, Deloitte

Nimes, France

  • Kaylee Crain, Trinity Valley School
  • Emanuel Dawkins, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Amelia Guzman, Burleson Centennial High School
  • Miranda Hernandez, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Sean Hong, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Riley Ledesma, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Emily Mendoza, World Languages Institute
  • Joshua Mora, World Languages Institute
  • Jonathan Pulido, World Languages Institute
  • Samantha Quintana, Northside High School
  • Kyle Smith, Amon Carter-Riverside High School
  • Avery Stubblefield, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Victoria Crews, Aledo High School
Delegation Leaders
  • Patricia Anderson, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School
  • Chelsy Beninate, Fort Worth Country Day

Reggio Emilia, Italy

  • Maria Castruita, Northside High School
  • Sophia Cruz, Mansfield Legacy High School
  • Dylan Dews, R.L. Paschal High School
  • Sam Dodson, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Kylah Evans, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Leah Gittens, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Natalia Gusman, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School
  • Aiden Hardin, I.M. Terrell Academy
  • Bryanna Jones, Western Hills High School
  • Claire Kauffman, Trinity Valley School
  • Delores Mills, Northside High School
  • Yaretzi Navarro, Western Hills High School
  • Miranda Tapia, Arlington Heights High School
  • Emma Chorn, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Julianna Wood, World Languages Institute
Delegations Leaders
  • Dr. Monica Marchi, Tarrant County College
  • Chloe Marshall, Clifford Davis Elementary School

Trier, Germany

  • Nara Acuña Guba, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Brigid Connors, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Daisy Daniels, Western Hills High School
  • Isabel Gammell, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Nate Hackworth, The Oakridge School
  • Dorothea Hart, Booker T. Washington High School
  • Jack Honeyman, Booker T. Washington High School
  • Nyima Isatou, Kijera Western Hills High School
  • Sofia Marshall, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Micah Przymus, World Languages Institute
  • Daisy Pulido, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Zoe Schwarz, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Arja Singh, Wakeland High School
Delegation Leaders
  • Sara Fairley-Luna, Leadership Fort Worth
  • Austin Johnson, Trinity Valley School

Guiyang, China (in 2025)

  • Mariana Gonzalez, World Languages Institute
  • Dorothea Hart, Booker T. Washington High School
  • Harmon Hong, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Sean Hong, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Micah Przymus, World Languages Institute
Delegation Leaders
  • Krista Forsgren
  • Maggie Green-Wallace

Sister Cities Hiring Accounting Manager

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $55,000 – $75,000 per year

Location: in person office in Fort Worth

We are looking for a team-oriented individual with experience in accounting and bookkeeping who will work alongside the President/CEO to manage the resources for this highly effective non-profit. We are looking for a skilled individual to maintain our financial records, including accounts payables and receivables. This individual will work closely with leadership to create and analyze financial reports.

Duties:

  • Manage the daily operations of accounting
  • Oversee accounts payable and receivable, and ensure timely payments
  • Create invoices, handle payroll and assist with HR duties
  • Prepare budgets and forecasts for the organization’s financial performance
  • Manage Finance Committee

Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance required
  • 3-5 years of experience in accounting or finance
  • Experience with non-profit finance
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously

We offer a competitive salary package with benefits including medical, dental, HSA and Simple IRA matching. If you meet the qualifications listed above and are looking for a challenging new opportunity in accounting management, please apply today by sending a resume and cover letter to amy@fwsistercities.org.

Fort Worth Wins Best Program in the Nation for the 11th Time

Fort Worth, Texas has won the Sister Cities International 2022 Best Overall Program Award and the Innovation in Business, Trade and Professional Exchange Award for a city with a population greater than 300,000 for outstanding programming in 2022. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

President/CEO Mae Ferguson was also honored with the Ruth Hashimoto Award for her work for over 23 years in advancing citizen diplomacy and international exchange.

2022 was an incredible year for Fort Worth Sister Cities International. We consistently created programs that embody the mission of SCI, promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation with numerous annual exchanges with our nine sister cities.

We were once again able to conduct annual adult and youth exchanges and stage our successful International Leadership Academy, a two-week global forum held in Fort Worth, uniting high school students from our sister cities with students in Fort Worth.

To secure additional revenue streams and reach other parts of the world, we received a grant from the World Learning organization to virtually home host students from Venezuela, and we reestablished important partnerships with the Congressional Office for International Leadership for professional development exchanges with the Republic of Georgia and Serbia.

We also launched the virtual roadshow series to keep our local community engaged through various cultural, educational and business topics while ramping up in-person events and activities. These activities included cooking classes and cultural celebrations like Japanese Children’s Day, as well as forums held with our European partners on the state of the economy and the affect the pandemic had on their cities and countries.

Donors make decisions on charitable donations based on the impact organizations make on the community. Anecdotal proof of success of sister city programs is not enough. With the help of the Center for Nonprofit Management, FWSCI collected data to prove that youth and adults who experience sister city programs:

  • Gain awareness of global issues
  • Can persevere in difficult situations
  • Increase their cultural competencyImprove their leadership and problem-solving skills
  • Improve their foreign language skills
  • Increase their confidence and independence

This leads to decreased stereotypes, racism, violence, and fear of other cultures, and increases empathy, creating a more peaceful world. This model can be shared with other SCI programs in the future.

This past year we focused on a new vision to create a culturally competent organization, as well as be the catalyst for the creation of an international center in Fort Worth. 2022 programs modeled everything the organization believes in: creating lifelong friendships, valuable partnerships and real-life experiences that foster peace and understanding. Through our programs, Fort Worth Sister Cities International is truly “connecting globally, thriving locally.”

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; and youth and education. All award winners were honored during Sister Cities International’s 2022 Annual Business Meeting held virtually and in-person on July 28, 2023.

2023-07-28 11:01

Fort Worth Wins Best Program in the Nation for the 11th Time

Fort Worth, Texas has won the Sister Cities International 2022 Best Overall Program Award and the Innovation in Business, Trade and Professional Exchange Award for a city with a population greater than 300,000 for outstanding programming in 2022. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

President/CEO Mae Ferguson was also honored with the Ruth Hashimoto Award for her work for over 23 years in advancing citizen diplomacy and international exchange.

2022 was an incredible year for Fort Worth Sister Cities International. We consistently created programs that embody the mission of SCI, promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation with numerous annual exchanges with our nine sister cities.

We were once again able to conduct annual adult and youth exchanges and stage our successful International Leadership Academy, a two-week global forum held in Fort Worth, uniting high school students from our sister cities with students in Fort Worth.

To secure additional revenue streams and reach other parts of the world, we received a grant from the World Learning organization to virtually home host students from Venezuela, and we reestablished important partnerships with the Congressional Office for International Leadership for professional development exchanges with the Republic of Georgia and Serbia.

We also launched the virtual roadshow series to keep our local community engaged through various cultural, educational and business topics while ramping up in-person events and activities. These activities included cooking classes and cultural celebrations like Japanese Children’s Day, as well as forums held with our European partners on the state of the economy and the affect the pandemic had on their cities and countries.

Donors make decisions on charitable donations based on the impact organizations make on the community. Anecdotal proof of success of sister city programs is not enough. With the help of the Center for Nonprofit Management, FWSCI collected data to prove that youth and adults who experience sister city programs:

  • Gain awareness of global issues
  • Can persevere in difficult situations
  • Increase their cultural competencyImprove their leadership and problem-solving skills
  • Improve their foreign language skills
  • Increase their confidence and independence

This leads to decreased stereotypes, racism, violence, and fear of other cultures, and increases empathy, creating a more peaceful world. This model can be shared with other SCI programs in the future.

This past year we focused on a new vision to create a culturally competent organization, as well as be the catalyst for the creation of an international center in Fort Worth. 2022 programs modeled everything the organization believes in: creating lifelong friendships, valuable partnerships and real-life experiences that foster peace and understanding. Through our programs, Fort Worth Sister Cities International is truly “connecting globally, thriving locally.”

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; and youth and education. All award winners were honored during Sister Cities International’s 2022 Annual Business Meeting held virtually and in-person on July 28, 2023.

Team USA Brings Home Gold, Silver and Bronze

In its ongoing efforts to promote Fort Worth globally and provide opportunities to enhance understanding and awareness of different cultures on a global basis, Fort Worth Sister Cities International sent nearly 100 student athletes, coaches and staff to the Tricolore Games in Reggio Emilia, Italy July 22-30.

The Athlete Ambassadors and coaches representing Fort Worth have been competing and living in an Olympic-style village with nearly 1,000 other student athletes from around the world, representing Fort Worth and the U.S.A. through positive sportsmanship and goodwill.

The student athletes returned over the weekend and are bringing home gold, silver, and bronze medals.

“We are so proud to be representing Fort Worth and the USA,” said Fort Worth Sister Cities President/CEO Mae Ferguson. “The student athletes have exhibited great sportsmanship and learned the true meaning of citizen diplomacy.”

The games are held every four years in Reggio Emilia, Italy with Fort Worth being the only city in the U.S.A. invited to participate.

Scholarship Recipients Represent Fort Worth in Japan

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities provides unique opportunity for students

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 33 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated benefiting Fort Worth families.

Fort Worth Harashin scholars include Laila Abu Tobeh, Julieta Almanza, Anjali Ferguson, Dorothea Hart, Alexandra Rodriguez, Jonathan Pulido, and Ian Valderas; and will be led by Delegation Leaders Kimberly Kowalski and Dimanche Brewer.

“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 Greg Jackson, Chairman of Fort Worth Sister Cities International. The students depart July 26 for a 10-day exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth Aug. 8-17.

All student applicants (grades 9-11) 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 nine sister cities provide youth the opportunity to spend time 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.

Find our more about youth exchanges>

2023-06-13 04:45

Scholarship Recipients Represent Fort Worth in Japan

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities provides unique opportunity for students

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 33 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated benefiting Fort Worth families.

Fort Worth Harashin scholars include Laila Abu Tobeh, Julieta Almanza, Anjali Ferguson, Dorothea Hart, Alexandra Rodriguez, Jonathan Pulido, and Ian Valderas; and will be led by Delegation Leaders Kimberly Kowalski and Dimanche Brewer.

“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 Greg Jackson, Chairman of Fort Worth Sister Cities International. The students depart July 26 for a 10-day exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth Aug. 8-17.

All student applicants (grades 9-11) 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 nine sister cities provide youth the opportunity to spend time 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.

Find our more about youth exchanges>

International Students Attend Leadership Academy

Fort Worth, TX: Peace Builders, Theme of Academy

High school students from around the world will descend on Fort Worth starting July 8. Students from Eswatini, Italy, and Japan, along with Fort Worth students, will be in Fort Worth for the 34th International Leadership Academy. The academy’s goal is to increase communication and leadership skills through teambuilding and problem-solving using diplomacy.

Since 1989, ILA has brought young people from Fort Worth’s nine sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, nearly 50 participants will converge at Texas Christian University July 8 – 23 to share their cultures and learn about citizen diplomacy and its importance.

“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 Nelcy Cardenas, ILA Coordinator.

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.

Fort Worth Representing USA at Italian Sports Games

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities fields youth sports teams

Fort Worth is sending nearly 100 student athletes and coaches to the seventh edition of the Tricolore Youth Sports Games in Reggio Emilia, Italy July 22 – 30, 2023.

The games create an opportunity for young people to convey a positive impression of American youth to nearly 1,000 athletes from around the world who will be participating in the event.

“Living with and competing against these young athletes, our students will undoubtedly learn that they have much more in common with them than what separates them,” said Matt Graves, Tricolore Chair in Fort Worth. “These are the types of experiences that help kids shape their understanding and acceptance of people from other cultures and it’s a lot of fun, too!”

The athletes and coaches will compete and live in an Olympic-style village with student athletes from other countries, as well as represent Fort Worth and the U.S.A. through positive sportsmanship and goodwill.

“The games offer an international experience these kids will remember the rest of their lives. Bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals will be a highlight of their athletic careers,” said Tom Law, Tricolore Committee Member.

The Tricolore Games are held every four years in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Fort Worth’s sister city for 38 years, and Fort Worth will be the sole representative of the U.S.A. Teams participating are  competing in baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, and volleyball.

2023-06-13 03:53

Fort Worth Representing USA at Italian Sports Games

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities fields youth sports teams

Fort Worth is sending nearly 100 student athletes and coaches to the seventh edition of the Tricolore Youth Sports Games in Reggio Emilia, Italy July 22 – 30, 2023.

The games create an opportunity for young people to convey a positive impression of American youth to nearly 1,000 athletes from around the world who will be participating in the event.

“Living with and competing against these young athletes, our students will undoubtedly learn that they have much more in common with them than what separates them,” said Matt Graves, Tricolore Chair in Fort Worth. “These are the types of experiences that help kids shape their understanding and acceptance of people from other cultures and it’s a lot of fun, too!”

The athletes and coaches will compete and live in an Olympic-style village with student athletes from other countries, as well as represent Fort Worth and the U.S.A. through positive sportsmanship and goodwill.

“The games offer an international experience these kids will remember the rest of their lives. Bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals will be a highlight of their athletic careers,” said Tom Law, Tricolore Committee Member.

The Tricolore Games are held every four years in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Fort Worth’s sister city for 38 years, and Fort Worth will be the sole representative of the U.S.A. Teams participating are  competing in baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, and volleyball.