Mae Ferguson to Retire After 25 Years

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – 

Fort Worth Sister Cities International announces the upcoming retirement of Mae Ferguson, the organization’s dedicated President & CEO, who will be retiring at the end of this year after 25 years of outstanding service.

Mae Ferguson joined the organization in 2000 and has played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission of promoting global understanding and citizen diplomacy through the organization’s nine sister city partnerships. Under Mae’s visionary leadership, Fort Worth Sister Cities International has flourished; expanding its membership to over 500 dedicated supporters, increasing its budget fivefold, establishing the Connect Globally Endowment for future sustainability, and achieving the distinction of being awarded the Best Sister City Program in the nation more times than any other city in the United States.

“Mae Ferguson and Fort Worth Sister Cities International are synonymous,” said Greg Jackson, Chairman of the Board. “Mae is a pillar in our community: our entire city is grateful for her remarkable service that has positioned the organization as Fort Worth’s global leader in international relationships.”

Mae has served on the Sister Cities International Board of Directors, including as Chairman of the Board from 2006 to 2008. She has also represented Texas as the state’s representative for Sister Cities International since 2011 representing nearly 40 Texas cities helping them strengthen and expand new international partnerships. Mae’s contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Chairman’s Award from Sister Cities International in 2008 and 2018, and the prestigious Ruth Hashimoto Award in 2023. She was also recognized with the Great Women of Texas award by the Fort Worth Business Press in 2006 and 2018.

“Fort Worth Sister Cities International works to connect our world-class city to the world, and for the last 25 years, that important role has been led by the vision and hard work of Mae Ferguson,” said Fort Worth Mayor, Mattie Parker. “The world, and Fort Worth, has changed a lot in the last two and a half decades, and Mae has been a steadfast leader in Fort Worth’s role in international relationships and global civic engagement through all of it.”

The Board of Directors will begin a search for a new CEO to succeed Mae Ferguson and lead Fort Worth Sister Cities International into its next chapter.

2024-05-07 09:52

Mae Ferguson to Retire After 25 Years

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – 

Fort Worth Sister Cities International announces the upcoming retirement of Mae Ferguson, the organization’s dedicated President & CEO, who will be retiring at the end of this year after 25 years of outstanding service.

Mae Ferguson joined the organization in 2000 and has played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission of promoting global understanding and citizen diplomacy through the organization’s nine sister city partnerships. Under Mae’s visionary leadership, Fort Worth Sister Cities International has flourished; expanding its membership to over 500 dedicated supporters, increasing its budget fivefold, establishing the Connect Globally Endowment for future sustainability, and achieving the distinction of being awarded the Best Sister City Program in the nation more times than any other city in the United States.

“Mae Ferguson and Fort Worth Sister Cities International are synonymous,” said Greg Jackson, Chairman of the Board. “Mae is a pillar in our community: our entire city is grateful for her remarkable service that has positioned the organization as Fort Worth’s global leader in international relationships.”

Mae has served on the Sister Cities International Board of Directors, including as Chairman of the Board from 2006 to 2008. She has also represented Texas as the state’s representative for Sister Cities International since 2011 representing nearly 40 Texas cities helping them strengthen and expand new international partnerships. Mae’s contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Chairman’s Award from Sister Cities International in 2008 and 2018, and the prestigious Ruth Hashimoto Award in 2023. She was also recognized with the Great Women of Texas award by the Fort Worth Business Press in 2006 and 2018.

“Fort Worth Sister Cities International works to connect our world-class city to the world, and for the last 25 years, that important role has been led by the vision and hard work of Mae Ferguson,” said Fort Worth Mayor, Mattie Parker. “The world, and Fort Worth, has changed a lot in the last two and a half decades, and Mae has been a steadfast leader in Fort Worth’s role in international relationships and global civic engagement through all of it.”

The Board of Directors will begin a search for a new CEO to succeed Mae Ferguson and lead Fort Worth Sister Cities International into its next chapter.

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 Youth Board Elected for 2022-23 School Year

On May 15, the Fort Worth Youth International youth board met to elect new officers for the 2022-2023 school year. Stay tuned to hear about their new and innovative plans to engage the Fort Worth youth community.

We also thanked and celebrated the outgoing board for their accomplishments during the 2021-2022 school year. Led by President Reshma Niraula, the board hosted an international coffeehouse kickoff event, volunteered at the Mayor’s International International Dinner and Kodomo No Hi, educated their peers about New Year’s around the world, and sponsored an international book club.

Thank you to our outgoing board and congratulations to the new board!

2022-23 Officers

  • President – Leah Peterson, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA
  • Vice President – Valdemar Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Secretary – Bryne Kane, Arlington Heights High School
  • Public Relations – Katie Beckman, Birdville High School
  • Community Outreach – Sophia Hernandez, Trinity Valley School
  • Fundraising – Azael Hernandez, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA
  • Cultural Orientation – Lauren Oliver, Southlake Carroll High School

At Large Members

  • Seth Mayhue, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Conner Smith, Paschal High School
  • Julie Almanza, Paschal High School
  • Jonathan Pulido, World Languages Institute
  • Laila Abu Tobeh, Aledo High School
  • Alexandra Rodriguez, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • Ian Valderas, IM Terrell, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA

2022-05-16 12:38

Sister Cities Youth Board Elected for 2022-23 School Year

On May 15, the Fort Worth Youth International youth board met to elect new officers for the 2022-2023 school year. Stay tuned to hear about their new and innovative plans to engage the Fort Worth youth community.

We also thanked and celebrated the outgoing board for their accomplishments during the 2021-2022 school year. Led by President Reshma Niraula, the board hosted an international coffeehouse kickoff event, volunteered at the Mayor’s International International Dinner and Kodomo No Hi, educated their peers about New Year’s around the world, and sponsored an international book club.

Thank you to our outgoing board and congratulations to the new board!

2022-23 Officers

  • President – Leah Peterson, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA
  • Vice President – Valdemar Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Secretary – Bryne Kane, Arlington Heights High School
  • Public Relations – Katie Beckman, Birdville High School
  • Community Outreach – Sophia Hernandez, Trinity Valley School
  • Fundraising – Azael Hernandez, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA
  • Cultural Orientation – Lauren Oliver, Southlake Carroll High School

At Large Members

  • Seth Mayhue, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Conner Smith, Paschal High School
  • Julie Almanza, Paschal High School
  • Jonathan Pulido, World Languages Institute
  • Laila Abu Tobeh, Aledo High School
  • Alexandra Rodriguez, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
  • Ian Valderas, IM Terrell, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA

New Fort Worth Connection Possible With South America

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities delegation visits Argentina and Uruguay

A delegation of 17 will visit Argentina and Uruguay May 3-12 on an eight-day exploratory mission to learn more about the two countries and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation consists of representatives from business, education and finance sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Special meetings are set at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. In Buenos Aires, the group will meet with newly appointed Ambassador Edward Prado. Delegates plan to discuss current issues in the region and how US citizens can connect on a diplomatic level.

“We are exploring a new part of the world and learning about Argentina and Uruguay,” said Cindy Johnson, Sister Cities board member. “Pursuing new relationships like these is needed now more than ever. There is tremendous potential to grow a global movement of citizens committed to deepening ties in the face of forces pulling us apart.”

The delegation will be led by Director Emerita Mary Palko; board members Cindy Johnson, Frank Tilley and Melissa Thompson; and Mae Ferguson, President/CEO. Other delegates include Connie Beck, Kathryn and Lowell Bryan, Becky Finley, Roland Johnson, Janet Lane, Joe Michels, Wanda Murphy, Barbara Ryon, Sally Sims, Terri and Gary West, and Julie Wilson.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to Mexico and France. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Danielle McCown at 817-632-7100 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

2019-04-23 02:36

New Fort Worth Connection Possible With South America

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities delegation visits Argentina and Uruguay

A delegation of 17 will visit Argentina and Uruguay May 3-12 on an eight-day exploratory mission to learn more about the two countries and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation consists of representatives from business, education and finance sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Special meetings are set at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. In Buenos Aires, the group will meet with newly appointed Ambassador Edward Prado. Delegates plan to discuss current issues in the region and how US citizens can connect on a diplomatic level.

“We are exploring a new part of the world and learning about Argentina and Uruguay,” said Cindy Johnson, Sister Cities board member. “Pursuing new relationships like these is needed now more than ever. There is tremendous potential to grow a global movement of citizens committed to deepening ties in the face of forces pulling us apart.”

The delegation will be led by Director Emerita Mary Palko; board members Cindy Johnson, Frank Tilley and Melissa Thompson; and Mae Ferguson, President/CEO. Other delegates include Connie Beck, Kathryn and Lowell Bryan, Becky Finley, Roland Johnson, Janet Lane, Joe Michels, Wanda Murphy, Barbara Ryon, Sally Sims, Terri and Gary West, and Julie Wilson.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to Mexico and France. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Danielle McCown at 817-632-7100 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

Sister Cities on Educational Mission to Jordan

Fort Worth, Texas – Delegation visits Jordan to find connections

Twelve delegates will depart Fort Worth March 27 on a twelve-day educational mission to Jordan to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation will consist of representatives from business, education, and law sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Amman, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and Petra.

Special meetings are set with Deputy Chief of Mission Henry Wooster at the U.S. Embassy; H.E. Mr. Akel Biltaji, current mayor of Amman and former advisor to H.M. King Abdullah II; Eng. Ziad Al Rihani, Vice Chairman of the Amman Municipal Committee; the Amman Chamber of Commerce; and individual businesses. Delegates plan to discuss current issues in Jordan and how the U.S. and Fort Worth could benefit from partnerships. The group will also visit several schools including a school for the deaf.

“We are exploring a new part of the world and learning about Jordan,” said Veronica Chavez Law, Chair-Elect of Fort Worth Sister Cities. “Pursuing new relationships like these is needed now more than ever. There is tremendous potential to grow a global movement of citizens committed to deepening ties in the face of forces pulling us apart.”

The delegation will be led by Veronica Chavez Law, Chair-Elect; Tim Quigley, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities International; and Mae Ferguson, President/CEO. Other delegates include: Paul Geisel, Bandung Chair; Tom Law, Jr., Reggio Emilia Chair; Pat Miller, Long Range Planning Chair; and Ann Rice, Past Chair.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to France, Swaziland, and Canada. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Danielle McCown at 817/632-7100 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

2017-03-23 08:48

Sister Cities on Educational Mission to Jordan

Fort Worth, Texas – Delegation visits Jordan to find connections

Twelve delegates will depart Fort Worth March 27 on a twelve-day educational mission to Jordan to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation will consist of representatives from business, education, and law sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Amman, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and Petra.

Special meetings are set with Deputy Chief of Mission Henry Wooster at the U.S. Embassy; H.E. Mr. Akel Biltaji, current mayor of Amman and former advisor to H.M. King Abdullah II; Eng. Ziad Al Rihani, Vice Chairman of the Amman Municipal Committee; the Amman Chamber of Commerce; and individual businesses. Delegates plan to discuss current issues in Jordan and how the U.S. and Fort Worth could benefit from partnerships. The group will also visit several schools including a school for the deaf.

“We are exploring a new part of the world and learning about Jordan,” said Veronica Chavez Law, Chair-Elect of Fort Worth Sister Cities. “Pursuing new relationships like these is needed now more than ever. There is tremendous potential to grow a global movement of citizens committed to deepening ties in the face of forces pulling us apart.”

The delegation will be led by Veronica Chavez Law, Chair-Elect; Tim Quigley, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities International; and Mae Ferguson, President/CEO. Other delegates include: Paul Geisel, Bandung Chair; Tom Law, Jr., Reggio Emilia Chair; Pat Miller, Long Range Planning Chair; and Ann Rice, Past Chair.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to France, Swaziland, and Canada. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Danielle McCown at 817/632-7100 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

Sister Cities Makes $14 Million Impact On City

Fort Worth, Texas – New study just released out of Washington, DC

economic impactSister city partnerships have long been praised for their cultural benefit, but a new study suggests that citizen diplomacy and the exchange it fosters can mean real money for cities and their partners.

Presented at Sister Cities International’s annual conference in Washington, DC last month, the study observed the impact of travel and tourism, foreign investments from sister cities, spending by students and adults coming for exchange programs, impact of volunteers, in-kind donations and more.

Fort Worth was chosen along with Nashville, Tenn. and Atlanta, Georgia, to participate in the pilot study by ValueIdeas, which boosters say could help provide a better picture of the value international ties bring to cities. Fort Worth has 8 sister-city relationships around the world that provide vibrant educational, cultural and commercial exchanges.

Averaging data collected from sister-city committees, as well as private and government sources over a three-year period, the study determined that Fort Worth saw $14 million in “direct and indirect” economic impact in 2016, most of which came from travel and tourism.

The findings come as the Fort Worth mayor’s office seeks to partner with sister cities to further its economic development goals, even while maintaining their tradition of cultural exchange. Fort Worth and Reggio Emilia, a more than 30-year partnership, are researching possible entrepreneurial exchanges next year.

The study estimated that the impact of Sister Cities International-related exchanges on the U.S. economy, network-wide, is $525 million.

2016-08-15 08:53

Sister Cities Makes $14 Million Impact On City

Fort Worth, Texas – New study just released out of Washington, DC

economic impactSister city partnerships have long been praised for their cultural benefit, but a new study suggests that citizen diplomacy and the exchange it fosters can mean real money for cities and their partners.

Presented at Sister Cities International’s annual conference in Washington, DC last month, the study observed the impact of travel and tourism, foreign investments from sister cities, spending by students and adults coming for exchange programs, impact of volunteers, in-kind donations and more.

Fort Worth was chosen along with Nashville, Tenn. and Atlanta, Georgia, to participate in the pilot study by ValueIdeas, which boosters say could help provide a better picture of the value international ties bring to cities. Fort Worth has 8 sister-city relationships around the world that provide vibrant educational, cultural and commercial exchanges.

Averaging data collected from sister-city committees, as well as private and government sources over a three-year period, the study determined that Fort Worth saw $14 million in “direct and indirect” economic impact in 2016, most of which came from travel and tourism.

The findings come as the Fort Worth mayor’s office seeks to partner with sister cities to further its economic development goals, even while maintaining their tradition of cultural exchange. Fort Worth and Reggio Emilia, a more than 30-year partnership, are researching possible entrepreneurial exchanges next year.

The study estimated that the impact of Sister Cities International-related exchanges on the U.S. economy, network-wide, is $525 million.

Fort Worth Youth Ambassadors Visit Japan

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

Mr. Hara & students in NagaokaSince 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 exchange. In return, the families of these Fort Worth students host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes for a reciprocal exchange.

This program and all the scholarships have been funded by the Hara family and Harashin Co. Ltd. of Nagaoka. For 25 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated for this program.

Harashin scholars include: Sarah Alexander, Matthew Aufiero, Juan Cervantes, Claire-Lise Greve, Tabitha Kaiser, Jack Henry, Campbell Robinson, Alexander Roemer, and delegation leaders Kimberly Tezak-Daus and James Gleaton.

sundance squareAll 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.

Exchange programs are a key element in the overall programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities International and this unique opportunity for students is no exception. The students depart July 26 for a week long exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth August 9-17.

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. This is done as citizen diplomats and gives students a better understanding of other cultures providing them an international education only these programs can offer.

2016-07-28 01:50

Fort Worth Youth Ambassadors Visit Japan

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

Mr. Hara & students in NagaokaSince 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 exchange. In return, the families of these Fort Worth students host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes for a reciprocal exchange.

This program and all the scholarships have been funded by the Hara family and Harashin Co. Ltd. of Nagaoka. For 25 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated for this program.

Harashin scholars include: Sarah Alexander, Matthew Aufiero, Juan Cervantes, Claire-Lise Greve, Tabitha Kaiser, Jack Henry, Campbell Robinson, Alexander Roemer, and delegation leaders Kimberly Tezak-Daus and James Gleaton.

sundance squareAll 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.

Exchange programs are a key element in the overall programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities International and this unique opportunity for students is no exception. The students depart July 26 for a week long exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth August 9-17.

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. This is done as citizen diplomats and gives students a better understanding of other cultures providing them an international education only these programs can offer.

Sister Cities Partners with Tarrant County College For Global Educators Workshop

Fort Worth, TX– Teachers from nine countries to participate   

IMG_9588Fort Worth Sister Cities International is partnering with Tarrant County College (TCC) for the 4th Global Educators Workshop on July 26.  Educators from nine countries will participate offering diverse perspectives from around the world.

The one-day conference held at the TCC South Campus is $45 and participants will receive six hours of continuing professional education credits, lunch, resources, and an opportunity to network with educators from around the world.

IMG_9773 - CopySpeakers will include Glenda Redeemer, Manager of Chronic Disease Prevention Division at Tarrant County Public Health Dept. and Dr. Staussa Ervin, Ed.D, Professor of Psychology at Tarrant County College and owner of MindPeace Integrated Psychotherapy. The day will also include an overview of the educational systems in China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Swaziland.

The goals of the conference are to engage the educators in interactive dialogue, hear from teachers with success stories, learn how educators connect in other cultures, network and plan, and make lasting professional friendships.

For more information and to make your reservation, please contact Danielle at 817/632-7100 or go online at https://www.fwsistercities.org/event/global-educators-workshop/ .

International Students Attend Leadership Academies

Fort Worth, TX: Building a Culture of Health Theme of Academies

group photo sillySince 1989, the award-winning International Leadership Academy (ILA) has brought young people from Fort Worth’s sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, nearly 150 participants will converge at TCU July 16 – 31 to share their cultures and learn more about leadership.

Students from Fort Worth, China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Swaziland will be in Fort Worth for this two-week program. The Academy’s goal is to increase communication and leadership skills through team-building, problem-solving, and sharing cultures.

community center 19Participants 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 and a community service project.

students making funny facesThis year marks the 12th year of ILA’s middle school program, Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA) held July 11—15. College students from Toluca, Mexico and Mbabane, Swaziland will serve as facilitators as the Fort Worth students discuss the same issues as their high school counterparts. The students will experience cultural presentations and interaction with high school students from Mexico and Swaziland gaining an international perspective.

“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 ceremonies for ILA take place on July 31, 10:00 a.m. at TCU’s Ed Landreth Auditorium and are open to the public.

2016-06-21 04:22

International Students Attend Leadership Academies

Fort Worth, TX: Building a Culture of Health Theme of Academies

group photo sillySince 1989, the award-winning International Leadership Academy (ILA) has brought young people from Fort Worth’s sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, nearly 150 participants will converge at TCU July 16 – 31 to share their cultures and learn more about leadership.

Students from Fort Worth, China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Swaziland will be in Fort Worth for this two-week program. The Academy’s goal is to increase communication and leadership skills through team-building, problem-solving, and sharing cultures.

community center 19Participants 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 and a community service project.

students making funny facesThis year marks the 12th year of ILA’s middle school program, Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA) held July 11—15. College students from Toluca, Mexico and Mbabane, Swaziland will serve as facilitators as the Fort Worth students discuss the same issues as their high school counterparts. The students will experience cultural presentations and interaction with high school students from Mexico and Swaziland gaining an international perspective.

“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 ceremonies for ILA take place on July 31, 10:00 a.m. at TCU’s Ed Landreth Auditorium and are open to the public.

Sister Cities to Hold Conversation on Refugee Crisis

Fort Worth, Texas – Refugee resettlement in Fort Worth to be discussed 

The Fort Worth community is invited to participate in a conversation on the current world refugee crisis on April 28 from at 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus, Room Action A 4202.  The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required at beth@fwsistercities.org.

Manochehr Dorraj
Dr. Monochehr Dorraj

The event will include an analysis of the refugee crisis by Dr. Monochehr Dorraj, Professor of Political Science at TCU.  A panel discussion will follow on how refugees are affecting our sister cities of Budapest, Hungary; Reggio Emilia, Italy; and Trier, Germany.

The evening will also include an overview of the current situation in Fort Worth.  This information will be presented by the directors from Refugee Services of Texas speaking about how refugees are being resettled in Fort Worth.

Our keynote speaker, Manochehr Dorraj, received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Dorraj is a frequent commentator on global affairs in general and Middle East politics in particular. He has granted numerous interviews to international, national, and local media.

For more information and to make your reservation, please contact Beth Weibel at beth@fwsistercities.org.

2016-04-07 08:57

Sister Cities to Hold Conversation on Refugee Crisis

Fort Worth, Texas – Refugee resettlement in Fort Worth to be discussed 

The Fort Worth community is invited to participate in a conversation on the current world refugee crisis on April 28 from at 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus, Room Action A 4202.  The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required at beth@fwsistercities.org.

Manochehr Dorraj
Dr. Monochehr Dorraj

The event will include an analysis of the refugee crisis by Dr. Monochehr Dorraj, Professor of Political Science at TCU.  A panel discussion will follow on how refugees are affecting our sister cities of Budapest, Hungary; Reggio Emilia, Italy; and Trier, Germany.

The evening will also include an overview of the current situation in Fort Worth.  This information will be presented by the directors from Refugee Services of Texas speaking about how refugees are being resettled in Fort Worth.

Our keynote speaker, Manochehr Dorraj, received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Dorraj is a frequent commentator on global affairs in general and Middle East politics in particular. He has granted numerous interviews to international, national, and local media.

For more information and to make your reservation, please contact Beth Weibel at beth@fwsistercities.org.