Trinity Valley School Partners As Sister Cities Ambassador School

Students from Toluca Mexico Being Hosted

Six high school students and a teacher from Toluca, Mexico’s Tec de Monterrey Multicultural Program will spend three weeks in Fort Worth, hosted by Trinity Valley School Nov. 25 – Dec. 13.  TVS is one of several Ambassador Schools this year hosting student delegations from Fort Worth’s Sister Cities.

Trinity Valley School’s Director of Global Initiatives, Dr. Michael Roemer, has planned an enriched program.  “Hosting this exchange helps our students learn the value of diversity and seek commonalities that tie us together,” said Dr. Roemer.  Trinity Valley School’s Global Initiatives Program is committed to educating K-12 students to become aware of and engaged with people around the world.

The Toluca students will also take part in educational programs at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, and cultural tours are planned to the Stockyards, Cowboys Stadium, the Amon Carter Museum, and the Kimbell Art Museum.  The students will also spend time in class with Trinity Valley School students, teach some of the younger students about their culture, and take part in the school’s Trojan Outdoor Experience (TOE) program.

The goal of the exchange is to provide an international experience for the students that will inspire global understanding. The experience will also provide opportunities for the Toluca students to learn about the U.S. educational system and develop new friendships through a home hosted experience with Trinity Valley School families.

The Toluca students must complete an international exchange as part of their graduation credits, and these students chose to visit Fort Worth.  Sister Cities will facilitate this exchange through the Ambassador School Program.


Delegation Led by Mayor Pro Tempore Sal Espino  to Continue Talks with Sister City Partner

Fort Worth Sister Cities is sending an official delegation to Toluca, Mexico Oct. 29—Nov. 2 to continue discussions with Mayor Martha Hilda González Calderón and other officials and business leaders. The delegation will be led by Mayor Pro Tempore Sal Espino along with Board Chairwoman, Ann Rice and Toluca Co-Chairs Richard Casarez, Asusena Resendiz, President and CEO Mae Ferguson and 20 others.

While there the official delegation will meet with representatives from Toluca regarding their aerospace industry, downtown revitalization, education and commerce.

“We are very interested in pursuing mutually beneficial programs for both Fort Worth and Toluca.  With the close proximity of Toluca, it just makes sense for us to establish more trade and commerce with this important city in Mexico,” said Espino.

Toluca, Mexico is Fort Worth’s closest Sister City. Signed in 1998, this partnership has resulted in many exciting programs such as: middle, high school and university partnerships; municipal and economic forums; monarch butterfly tourism exchanges; culture, language and mentoring programs; an engineering school intern program and joint police training programs.

While in Toluca the delegation will also experience Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world focusing on family and friends and their departed loved ones.  The group will experience an authentic celebration of this special occasion with friends from Toluca.


Delegation visits Vietnam on Exploratory Mission

Sister Cities’ delegates are visiting Vietnam November 6-17 on an exploratory mission to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation will consist of representatives from the business, education and tourism sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Hanoi, Ha Long, Hoi An, Quang Ngai, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Special meetings will be held with the U.S. Embassy staff in Hanoi and the American Chamber of Commerce. Delegates will also meet with universities and high schools to explore partnerships that could result in student exchanges.

“Fort Worth is looking for new opportunities to connect with the world. We are not actively seeking a new sister city at this time but a city in Vietnam could be a possibility in the future,” said Ann Rice, Board Chair. “Vietnam is a growing economy rich in culture that could benefit Fort Worth residents.”

Sister Cities is partnering with Glocal Ventures, Inc. to develop this exchange. GVI hopes to impact communities in Vietnam through sustainable projects including agriculture and water, communications, economics, education, governance, medical, technology and social and civil society projects.

The delegation will be led by Ann Rice and President/CEO Mae Ferguson. Other delegates include: Mary Palko, Sister Cities International Global Envoy and local business-woman; Dr. Bonnie Melhart, TCU; Jim Lane, Attorney and former Fort Worth city council representative; Tran Trong, retired Alcon executive; Lu Pham, Attorney, Cantey Hanger; and Rick Sage, Glocal Ventures, Vietnam Director.


Funds Raised Will Benefit Fort Worth Sister Cities International Youth Programs 

Join Honorary Chair, Mayor Betsy Price and Co-Chairs, Andrea Ballard and Andrea Puente for the Inaugural Amazingly Global Race Saturday, October 4 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Sundance Square Plaza benefitting Fort Worth Sister Cities International.

Teams of four will walk, run and ride to eight stations throughout downtown attempting to complete various challenges ending back at Sundance Square Plaza for an awards ceremony at 1:00 p.m.  To participate teams raise a $1,000 entry fee which is due by Friday, October 3 at noon.

Each challenge station represents one of Fort Worth’s sister city partners from China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Swaziland.   A few challenges include moving giant sushi onto a plate with chop sticks made from swimming pool noodles at the Japanese station and kayaking across the Danube (Trinity River) in Budapest, Hungary.  After teams accomplish the challenge at each station their passports are officially stamped before proceeding to the next station.

“Every city larger than Fort Worth has a sister cities program and none is more active or effective than ours.  In an increasingly smaller world, Sister Cities plays a huge role in  enhancing the image of our city abroad, helping to improve the lives of our citizens and provide global opportunities for all,” said Mayor Price.

The event is sponsored by the Bank of Texas and the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as DFW International Airport, Mrs. Renfro’s, the Fort Worth Star Telegram and INDULGE magazine along with a host of team sponsors and other supporters.  All funds raised will go towards supporting youth and education programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities.

Awards will be presented to the Grand Champion Team, Top Fundraising Team, Fastest Team, Top Fundraising Individual and Best Team Costumes.

See pictures of event…

Japanese Students Visit Fort Worth

Sister Cities Partners With Three Local Schools

This year’s Ambassador Middle Schools include McLean Middle School, Fort Worth Country Day and Trinity Valley School. These schools will host 36 students and teachers from Nagaoka, Japan October 18 – 26 for this annual international exchange. Fort Worth Sister Cities established the Ambassador Middle School program in 1991 partnering with local public and private schools to promote global fluency. The goal of the Ambassador Middle School program is to give students the leadership skills needed to succeed in today’s connected world.  At the same time, teachers are given creative teaching tools and exposure to international cultures. “The Fort Worth ISD is proud to partner with Sister Cities on this program, as well as many other international initiatives. We want to give our students the best opportunity possible to be successful,” said Michael Sorum, Deputy Superintendent and Sister Cities Advisory Board member. The Japanese students will attend classes, participate in cultural activities and be home hosted by families from the three participating schools. In partnership with the Fort Worth Japanese Society, the students will perform a traditional Japanese dance at the annual Japanese Festival in the Botanic Gardens on Sat.,  Oct. 25.  Through this unique experience the Japanese students will provide a glimpse into life in Japan and its unique culture.


Sister Cities Celebrates 10 years with Swaziland at gospel choir concert

Fort Worth is celebrating its ten-year anniversary as sister cities with Mbabane, Swaziland on Sept. 21 beginning at 3:00 p.m. with a celebration of gospel choirs.  The concert will be held at the Rising Star Baptist Church and is free and open to the public. Choirs from Christ Chapel Bible Church, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Rising Star Baptist Church and Trinity Lutheran Church will perform.   Ms. Jewel Kelly will also speak on the roots of gospel music and the connection to the African continent. Honored guests at the celebration will include a delegation from Swaziland led by Mbabane Mayor Benito Jones and City Manager Gideon Mhlongo.  Commissioner Roy C. Brooks will emcee the event and past Mbabane Committee Chairs Avis Davis and Carlo Capua will speak on the past and future of this special relationship. “We are hopeful that the Fort Worth community will attend to hear some beautiful voices and marimbas.   What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to feed the soul with beautiful music and warm friendships,” said Rae Hyatt, current Sister Cities Mbabane Chair. Mbabane became Fort Worth’s 7th sister city in 2004 and has provided many beneficial exchanges and local programs.  Annual exchanges include both inbound and outbound youth exchanges, adult service projects, and many humanitarian focused projects including the construction of a health and social center in Mbabane funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.


Fort Worth, Texas — Bandung officials in Fort Worth to Promote Sister City

As part of a reciprocal exchange between Fort Worth and its sister city, Bandung,  Indonesia, 16 Indonesian tourism and promotion officials and performers will visit Fort Worth August 24—27. Bob Jameson, President of the Convention and Visitors Bureau and CVB board chair Gary Brinkley, will meet with the group to discuss mutually beneficial programs to promote tourism in both cities.  8.2 million international visitors come to Texas each year generating $4.7 billion in state and local tax revenues according to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism. The delegation will not only discuss ways to increase visitors between the two cities but will visit local sites and attractions in Fort Worth including the cultural district and Stockyards. A special performance by traditional Indonesian dancers accompanying the delegation will take place on the stage at Sundance Square Plaza on Tuesday, August 26 at noon.  This performance will be free and open to the public. Did you receive an invitation to the Welcome Reception at Joe T. Garcia – Villa Room?  Buy your tickets here. This exchange is the result of a reciprocal program which began last year when a Fort Worth   delegation visited Bandung to promote Fort Worth.  Board Chairwoman Ann Rice and Bandung City Chair Mary Alyce Zimmerman (now chaired by Nancy Lopez) led the delegation meeting with city officials sharing the Texas culture and to invite visitors to Fort Worth. Fort Worth has the distinction of being the first U.S. city to partner with a city in Indonesia.   Bandung was signed as Fort Worth’s 5th official sister city in 1990.  Since that time exchanges have included university-based nursing programs, educational and    professional training programs in Municipal waster water, security and waste  management and several business  connections initiated by Pier 1 Imports, Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin. More Pictures from Visit

Sister Cities International Ambassadors Visit Japan

Fort Worth, TX – Students to Nagaoka, Japan to represent U.S. as goodwill ambassadors

Since 1990, The Harashin Co. of Nagaoka, Japan has funded scholarships for nine 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.  Over nearly 25 years of this program, it is estimated that nearly $2 million has been generously donated. Exchange programs are a key element in the overall programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities International and this unique opportunity for Fort Worth students is no exception. The students departed July 27 for a week long exchange and the Japanese students will arrive in Fort Worth August 8. 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. All student applicants (8-12th) 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. Harashin scholars include: Reese Eller, Victoria Koshevarova, Rayni Lee, Kenneth McCleveland, Bogdana Oliynyk, Shannon Owings,Le’Shawn Palmer,  Xavier Thompson, Lauren Titsworth and delegation leaders Pam Lea and Vicki Delgado. Join Our Mailing List to Find Out About Upcoming Exchanges


Fort Worth, Texas — Toluca, Mexico sends officers to Fort Worth for specialized training

Mayor Gonzalez of Toluca, Mexico during the last police officers exchange

As part of a five year partnership with the Toluca, Mexico Police Dept., the Fort Worth    Police Dept. will host ten officers from Toluca July 3—13 for specialized police training.

Sister Cities Toluca vice chair and former FWPD detective Manny Reyes along with FWPD Public Information Officer Daniel Segura are leading the training effort.

The Toluca officers will be in Fort Worth for a week long training at the Fort Worth Police Academy learning new skills on how to handle auto theft, kidnapping and robbery cases. They will tour the FW Police Department’s communications office, crime lab and property room.  They will also study how to become neighborhood police officers.  While in Fort Worth all officers will be home hosted by Fort Worth Police officers. As a reciprocal program for over five years, the FWPD has benefitted from training and information received from Toluca, as well including the addition and updating of a Spanish language training program at the Police Academy; collaboration with the Toluca PD on cold cases involving Mexican nationals in the US who now live in Mexico; direct contact with Mexican cities to locate and apprehend prisoners; and information and tactics for dealing with kidnappings involving Mexican nationals in Fort Worth. Toluca, Mexico is Fort Worth’s closest Sister City. Signed in 1998, this partnership has resulted in many exciting programs such as: middle and high school-to-school partnerships including the Model U.N. program; municipal and economic forums; butterfly tourism exchange; culture, language and mentoring programs; a medical school intern program and City of Fort Worth Police Department training program.

Students learn about entrepreneurship at local academies

Fort Worth, TX: Social Ventures—Investing in Peace, Theme of Sister Cities Leadership Academies Since 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, over 100   participants will converge at TCU July 19 – Aug. 3 to share their cultures and learn more about leadership and its role in social entrepreneurship. Students from Fort Worth, Italy, Germany, Japan, Hungary, China, Mexico, Swaziland, and Indonesia will be in Fort Worth for this two week program. The Academy’s goal is to increase communication and leadership skills through teambuilding, problem-solving, and sharing cultures. 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 and a community service project. This year marks the 10th year of ILA’s middle school program, Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA) held at McLean 6th Grade campus July 14—18. College students from Toluca, Mexico 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 Toluca, Mexico and Hanoi, Vietnam,  to gain an international perspective.
“These 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 take place on Aug. 2nd, 10:00 a.m. at TCU’s Ed Landreth Auditorium and are open to the public