Peoria, Arizona, March 11, 2009 —The City of Peoria has
announced that it has selected four young adults to serve as the city’s young
ambassadors for 2009. The youth are Molly Langan of Ironwood High School, Jane
Wakefield of Greenway High School, Gilbert Romero of Peoria High School, and
Carson Bott of Kellis High School.
The City of Peoria and the Borough of Ards, Northern Ireland,
became sister cities in 2002. Since 2003, over twenty Peoria youths and twenty
youths from the Borough of Ards have participated as young ambassadors in a
summer exchange program. The program offers high school students who reside in
Peoria an opportunity to develop an understanding of different countries and
cultures. Peoria’s young ambassadors will travel to Northern Ireland in late
July and will stay with host families of the young ambassadors who visited them
earlier in July. The young ambassadors were selected by the Peoria Sister City
Commission through a very extensive selection process. The selection process
involved an application, an essay, letters of recommendation from faculty
members, and interviews with the students and their parents.
This summer Peoria will become a meeting place for the students
from the Borough of Ards, Northern Ireland, to experience the American way of
life. The Peoria students will proudly show their city and state to their new
international “brothers or sisters.” With their families, Peoria’s young
ambassadors will open their homes and their hearts to their visitors, many of
whom may continue to return in subsequent years to attend school, seek
employment or just visit their American families and lifelong friends.
The Peoria Sister City Program provides for air travel expenses
for the delegates participating in the Young Ambassador Program. The host
families will be responsible for expenses relating to hosting their exchange
student. In past years, the business community has financially sponsored the
exchange program to help offset some of the activity costs while the young
ambassadors are visiting from Northern Ireland.