Fort Worth Students Attend Local Leadership Academy

Fort Worth, TX: Peace through innovation

This year marks the 15th year of the International Leadership Academy’s middle school program, Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA) to be held July 8—12 for students completing grades 6-8.  This one-week academy will be held in partnership with the International Newcomer Academy.

College students from Toluca, Mexico will serve as facilitators for the students who will experience cultural presentations and interaction with the university students gaining an international perspective.

As participants, students will be able to:

  • Enhance global leadership, communications, teamwork, and problem-solving skills
  • Enhance college and career opportunities
  • Strengthen global perspectives and appreciation for other cultures
  • Learn about citizen diplomacy

“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 and prepares these students for a global society,” said Nancy Marchant, JILA Coordinator.

The closing ceremony for JILA will take place at the International Newcomer Academy on July 12 at 5:00 pm and is open to the public. The keynote address will be given by Mayor Betsy Price.

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

Fort Worth Harashin scholars include DJ Carter, Erik Cura, Cameron Garcia, Lilian Hicks, Will Lourcey, Saleem Razack, Kyra Rhoades, and Bayan Williams; and will be led by Delegation Leaders Andréanne Annis and Angelia Ross.

“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 Veronica Chavez Law, Chairwoman of Fort Worth Sister Cities International. The students depart July 24 for a week-long exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth August 5-15.

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 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.

Students to Represent Fort Worth Abroad

Fort Worth, TX – Student Ambassadors to Visit Japan and Indonesia

Fort Worth students and leaders depart for Bandung, Indonesia and Nagaoka, Japan this month. Delegations are led by educators from the FWISD, private schools, and universities.

In March, the students attended a Fort Worth City Council where Mayor Betsy Price administered the Citizen Diplomat Oath to the students and their Delegation Leaders in preparation for their upcoming youth exchanges.

Students complete a vigorous selection process including personal interviews and are selected to represent the City of Fort Worth as Youth Ambassadors each year by Sister Cities. Applications are available for all students, as well as funding to support many.

Through these experiences, students benefit from a global education, as well as learn valuable leadership skills. Their understanding and respect of other cultures also increases which enhances their college and career opportunities.

“Our goal this year is to strategically grow our youth programs. It is important now more than ever to equip our future leaders with tools that will enable them to thrive in a global community,” said Veronica Chavez Law, Chairwoman of the Board of Sister Cities.

When the students return to their local campuses, they share the lessons learned while abroad with others, helping make Fort Worth more globally fluent.

A complete list of Youth Ambassadors and Delegation Leaders can be found at https://www.fwsistercities.org/youth-ambassadors-selected-for-2019-exchanges/.

Students to Represent Fort Worth Around the World

Fort Worth, TX – Student Ambassadors Given Oath at City Council Meeting

Nearly 100 Fort Worth students attended the Fort Worth City Council meeting on March 5 where Mayor Betsy Price administered the Citizen Diplomat Oath to the students and their Delegation Leaders in preparation for upcoming youth exchanges to four of Fort Worth’s nine sister cities.

The students and leaders are visiting Budapest, Hungary; Reggio Emilia, Italy; Toluca, Mexico; and Trier, Germany later this March. Delegations are led by educators from the FWISD, private schools, and universities. More students will depart for exchanges to Nagaoka, Japan and Bandung, Indonesia later in the summer.

Students complete a vigorous selection process including personal interviews and are selected to represent the City of Fort Worth as Youth Ambassadors each year by Sister Cities. Applications are available for all students, as well as funding to support many.

Through these experiences, students benefit from a global education, as well as learn valuable leadership skills. Their understanding and respect of other cultures also increases which enhances their college and career opportunities.

“Our goal this year is to strategically grow our youth programs. It is important now more than ever to equip our future leaders with tools that will enable them to thrive in a global community,” said Veronica Chavez Law, Chairwoman of the Board of Sister Cities.

When the students return to their local campuses, they share the lessons learned while abroad with others, helping make Fort Worth more globally fluent.

A complete list of Youth Ambassadors and Delegation Leaders can be found here.

Fort Worth Welcomes French Students

FORT WORTH, TX— Sister Cities Partners with Local Schools

Fort Worth welcomes students from its newest sister city, Nîmes, France, this week for the first youth ambassador exchange to Fort Worth. 

Three teachers and 21 students from Nîmes (pronounced NEEM) will be hosted by the World Languages Institute and Fort Worth Country Day School Feb. 15-25. Students will be home hosted by community volunteers giving them a true Texas experience, as well as providing a glimpse of life in America. The students will also attend school and visit cultural sites of interest while in Fort Worth.

“Sister Cities works closely with the Fort Worth ISD and private schools to give students the best opportunity possible to be successful in a global society,” said Veronica Chavez Law, Chairwoman of the Board. “Exchanges, like these, are more important than ever to teach young people the importance of global understanding and respect of other cultures whether here in Fort Worth or abroad.”

The students’ visit overlaps with a visit by Nîmes Mayor Jean-Paul Fournier and delegation who are here to sign the official documents joining Fort Worth and Nîmes as sister cities. The signing ceremony will take place on Feb. 13 at 6:00 pm at the Modern Art Museum and is free and open to the public. Mayors Betsy Price and Fournier will participate in this auspicious occasion. For more information about the Nîmes and Fort Worth signing ceremony go to https://www.fwsistercities.org/event/official-nimes-signing/.

A special reception for the students, as well as Mayor Fournier and the French delegation, will be held at Fort Worth Country Day School on Feb. 16 with special performances by the French and Fort Worth students.

If you know a student who wants to travel to one of Fort Worth’s sister cities in 2020, contact Beth Weibel at beth@fwsistercities.org or visit our website at https://www.fwsistercities.org/what-we-do/youth-exchanges/.

Youth Ambassadors Selected for 2019 Exchanges

Congratulations to all the students who were selected for Youth Ambassador exchanges in 2019! 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 Melany Rodriguez who received the Yamagata Emerging Leader Scholarship for her excellence in community service and leadership. Rodriguez will be using her scholarship to travel to Nagaoka, Japan and attend the International Leadership Academy.

Youth in Indonesia

Bandung, Indonesia – June 17-28, 2019

  • Trinity Crockett, World Languages Institute
  • Alicia Flores, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Victoria Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Randito Howard, Paschal High School
  • Jorge Munoz-Alvarez, World Languages Institute
  • Nyasha Muwalo, Chisholm Trail High School
  • Mariafernanda Nuñez, World Languages Institute

Delegation Leader

  • Tracey Cravens, North Side High School

Associate Delegation Leader

  • Vanessa Garcia, University of Texas at Arlington

Budapest, Hungary – March 9-17, 2019

  • Emily Carrillo, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School
  • Danna Gaytan, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School
  • Ashley Helms, Westlake Academy
  • Nicole Helms, Westlake Academy
  • Alexis Jiang, Westlake Academy
  • Nyasha Muwalo, Chisholm Trail High School
  • Zoe Nichols-Payne, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences
  • Benjamin Orr, Anderson Private School
  • Emily Pruitt, Marine Creek Collegiate High School
  • Gabriela Urbina, Marine Creek Collegiate High School
  • Sarah Villagran, Paschal High School

Delegations Leader

  • Dawnelle Butler, Westlake Academy

Associate Delegation Leader

  • Ben Cristol, L.K. Hall Elementary School
Running lap in Japan

Nagaoka, Japan – June 19-28, 2019

  • Lizett Espinoza, Western Hills High School
  • Hayden Flowers, Westlake Academy
  • Imani Golightly, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Shania Grant, World Languages Institute
  • Asheria Hart, Cedar Hill Collegiate
  • Alana Hawkins, Cedar Hill Collegiate
  • Dakira Hill, Boswell High School
  • Kassandra Loera, World Languages Institute
  • Jennifer Lozoya, World Languages Institute
  • Kate Malonis, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Kaylee McCurley, Aledo High School
  • Samantha Ramirez, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences
  • Kimberly Ruvalcaba, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Kiyanna Smith-Wright, Marine Creek Collegiate High School
  • Mario Terrell II, Young Men’s Leadership Academy

Delegations Leaders

  • Joe Ayala, Western Hills High School
  • Dr. Staussa Ervin, Tarrant County College

Associate Delegation Leader

  • Bob Chao

Nagaoka, Japan Harashin Scholars – July 25-Aug. 4

  • DJ Carter, Arlington Heights High School
  • Erik Cura, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Erin Fishman, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Lilian Hicks, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences
  • Will Lourcey, Paschal High School
  • Saleem Razack, Trinity Valley School
  • Kyra Rhoades, Timber Creek High School
  • Bayan Williams, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences

Alternates

  • Karen Ayala, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences
  • Cameron Garcia, Arlington Heights High School

Delegations Leaders

  • Andréanne Annis, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Angelia Ross, International Newcomers Academy

Reggio Emilia, Italy – March 9-17, 2019

  • Crystal Aguero, Western Hills High School
  • Nosaghare Aiguobasimwin, Marine Creek Collegiate High School
  • Jameson Bauer, Westlake Academy
  • Janie Bradford, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Jude Butler, Westlake Academy
  • Karina Cedillo, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Elisa Duran, Marine Creek Collegiate High School
  • Alicia Flores, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Gabriela Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Rafael Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Victoria Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Niina Havia, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Morgan McCullough, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences
  • Emme Nelson, Arlington Heights High School
  • Mariafernanda Nuñez, World Languages Institute
  • Skyler Porter, Paschal High School
  • Saleem Razack, Trinity Valley School
  • Umaya Suliman, Paschal High School

Delegations Leaders

  • James Gleaton, Tarrant County College
  • Courtney Smith, Como Montessori School

Toluca, Mexico – March 9-17, 2019

  • Gwendolen Bruce, Southwest High School
  • John Nolan, Paschal High School
  • Felicia Pang, Fort Worth Country Day

Delegation Leaders

  • Marvin Vann Griffith, World Language Institute
  • Cindy Vasquez, City of Fort Worth

Associate Delegation Leader

  • Sam Whiting, George Washington University

Adult Educator Ambassador

  • Alexandria Rodriguez, West Handley Elementary School

Trier, Germany – March 9-17, 2019

  • Alma Briones, North Side High School
  • Rebecca Cichock, Arlington High School
  • Hillary Fillmore, Southwest Christian School
  • Will Hartgraves, Paschal High School
  • Emma Lampka, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Bronwyn Logan, Crowley High School
  • Peren Lopez, Trinity Valley School
  • Katelyn Parham, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Alex Patton, Carroll High School
  • Lauryn Roberts, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Kate Robinson, All Saints Episcopal
  • Jayden Struve, Juan Seguin High School

Delegation Leaders

  • Rob Napier, Fort Worth Country Day
  • Erika Zimmerman, Tarrant County College

Advanced International Leadership Academy in Nagaoka, Japan – Aug. 1-11

  • Savanah Antwine, Texas Online Public School
  • Gabriela Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Gianna Razack, Trinity Valley School
  • Kate Robinson, All Saints Episcopal
  • Melany Rodriguez, World Languages Institute
  • Alexander Roemer, Trinity Valley School
  • William Russell, Paschal High School
  • Irene Strzhemechny, Harmony School of Innovation
  • Mercedes Swinney, The Oakridge School
  • Kimberly Wang, Westlake Academy

Delegation Leaders

  • Jay Kurima, Texas Academy of Biomedical Science
  • Nancy Marchant
  • Nelcy Cardenas, Fort Worth ISD
  • Carlo Capua, Z’s Cafe

Guiyang, China – June 5-15, 2020

  • Jose Garcia, Richland High School
  • Kassandra Loera, World Languages Institute
  • Amy Moreno, North Side High School
  • Jorge Munoz-Alvarez, World Languages Institute
  • Mariafernanda Nuñez, World Languages Institute
  • Anaiah Wiley, Chisholm Trail High School
  • Mark Wong, Fort Worth Country Day

Delegation Leaders

  • Paul Blankenship, Eastern Hills High School
  • Kimberly Tezak-Daus, Diamond Hill- Jarvis High School

Associate Delegation Leader

  • Vanessa Garcia, University of Texas at Arlington

Fort Worth Welcomes International Students

FORT WORTH, TX— Sister Cities Partners with Four Local Schools

Fort Worth welcomes students from sister cities, Trier, Germany and Nagaoka, Japan, this October for youth ambassador exchanges.

18 students from Trier will be hosted by Trinity Valley School and Fort Worth Country Day School Oct. 7-21.. Students will be home hosted by community volunteers and have the opportunity to visit the Museum of Science & History, Museum of Modern Art, the Stockyards and many other Fort Worth favorites.

36 middle school students from Nagaoka, Japan will participate in a middle school exchange, partnering with Fort Worth Country Day School, World Languages Institute, and Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Students and teachers will be visiting Oct. 13-21.

The Japanese students will attend classes, participate in cultural activities and live with Fort Worth families from the participating schools while in Fort Worth gaining an even better understanding of Fort Worth and the U.S.A.

“Sister Cities works closely with the Fort Worth ISD and local private schools to give Fort Worth students the best opportunity possible to be successful in a global society,” said Veronica Chavez Law, Chairwoman of the board. “Exchanges, like these, are more important than ever to teach our young people the importance of global understanding.”

If you’re interested in getting involved and home hosting, please contact Beth Weibel, at beth@fwsistercities.org.

Students Bring Home Gold and Bronze Medals From Italy

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities youth athletes represent Fort Worth and the USA!

Nearly 80 student athletes and coaches just returned from a week of competition at the Tricolore Youth Sports Games in Reggio Emilia, Italy winning three gold and one bronze medal in baseball and volleyball.

The athletes and coaches will be recognized at the Fort Worth City Council meeting Aug. 14 at 7:00 pm to report on the games and display the medals they won.

The Sports Ambassadors competed and lived in an Olympic-style village with student athletes from thirty other countries representing Fort Worth and the USA through positive sportsmanship and goodwill. The games created a chance for these athletes to convey a positive impression of American youth to other people from around the world.

“The programs sponsored by Sister Cities have a broad appeal offering international experiences you can’t get as casual tourists,” said Sister Cities Sports Games Chair Michael Jacobsson. “The student athletes will remember this trip for the rest of their lives.”

The Tricolore Games are held every four years in Reggio Emilia, Italy and Fort Worth is the only city in the US invited to participate.

Youth Ambassadors 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 27 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated benefiting Fort Worth families.

Fort Worth Harashin scholars include Rebecca Cichock, Samantha Cruz, William Dibble, Priscilla Gutierrez, Imani Kayembe, Katey Parham, Emily Pruitt, and Brigit Teschendorf; and will be led by Delegation Leaders Dawnelle Butler and Nicole Vallee.

“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 27 for a week-long exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth August 9-17.

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 Visit Local Businesses

Fort Worth, TX: Meet the World in Fort Worth

High school students from eSwatini, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Mexico, along with Fort Worth students, participating in the 29th International Leadership Academy for Fort Worth Sister Cities International will be meeting with some of Fort Worth’s finest on July 20.

For the second year, volunteers are taking small groups of students to meet with community leaders, in their offices, where they will conduct an interview based on this year’s ILA theme, “Meet the World in Fort Worth.” They will talk about citizen diplomacy and the community leaders are encouraged to ask the students questions in return.

This event gives students the opportunity to see Fort Worth in a new light and meet with people who are giving back to their community. A mixture of students from each country will be organized into small groups so the interviewee can experience the cultures of our Sister Cities, as well.

“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.

Meetings will take place at 10:00 a.m. on July 20. If you would like students to come visit with your business or you would like to volunteer for the day, please call 817-632-7100.