Sunday, June 20, 2021

Southlake Sister Cities to Provide Partial Scholarships

Southlake Sister Cities is proud to provide partial scholarships to five current 6th-8th graders to attend the Fort Worth Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA).

JILA is a dynamic week-long summer leadership program specifically designed for middle school students to meet and interact with other Fort Worth middle school students and university students from other sister cities while studying international cultures in a creative, fun and educational environment. JILA will be held the week of July 8-12 (weekdays only). Southlake Sister Cities is providing a 50 percent scholarship for the students selected. The cost of the camp is $325 making the Southlake Sister Cities scholarship student’s cost $165 to attend.

FORT WORTH JR. INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

Trip Dates: July 8 – June 12, 2019
Application Deadline: April 6, 2019
Eligibility: Middle school students completing grades 6-8
Cost: $165 for students receiving a scholarship from SSC / $325 for all other applicants

For 2019 information and application please CLICK here.

Sister Cities International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation, one individual, one community at a time.”

For more information about the Southlake Sister Cities or the JILA application process, please contact Katy Hintze.

Sister Cities International Day

At the June 21, 2016 City Council meeting, Mayor Hill and the City Council proclaimed July 15, 2016 as Sister Cities International Day. Sister Cities International Day will commemorate 60 years since the organization was founded as a Presidential initiative by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

The organization now spans over 550 U.S. member cities, counties and states with relationships with over 2,100 communities in 145 countries, spanning 6 continents. The organization began with a mission to create more community-led global relationships so that people of different cultures could appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new national conflicts. It is our goal to celebrate sister cities and the impact they make on the world on this day.

The City of Southlake is proud to be a driving part of this global network with sister city partnerships spanning the globe in Tome, Japan and Suzhou Wuzhong, China. This year, the City of Southlake is celebrating 25 years of friendship with Tome, Japan (formerly Toyoma). The mission of Southlake Sister Cities mission is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation; one individual, one community at a time.

The City of Southlake is joining hundreds of cities around the globe and thousands of people around the world in celebrating this day to mark this major milestone for world peace.

To learn more about the Southlake Sister Cities program and view upcoming events, please visit www.southlakesistercities.org

Sister Cities Delegation arrives from Tome

On Wednesday, March 23 a Sister Cities delegation of students from Tome, Japan will arrive in North Texas. As part of their trip delegates will tour Southlake, meet Mayor Laura Hill, visit Johnson Elementary School, and also tour DPS North.

After their visit to the DFW area, Southlake Sister Cities will be hosting a Sayonara Potluck Party for the departing Tome students. The party will be Saturday, March 26 at 6:00 PM in Southlake Town Hall on the 3rd floor. The event is open to the public, please bring your family and friends.

For more information on this and other programs and events, please contact Southlake Parks and Recreation at (817) 748-8019 or visit www.SouthlakeParksandRec.com.
SSC will provide meat and drinks. Arigato in advance!!

Join the Library for Chinese New Year Story Time

The Southlake Public Library and Southlake Sister Cities are partnering to celebrate Chinese New Year with Story Time on Wednesday, February 10 at 11:00 AM. This will be a special cultural story time with songs, treats, books and more.

No need to register, just visit the Library on February 10. For more information on this and other events, visit SouthlakeLibrary.com.

Southlake Sister Cities Seeks Youth Ambassadors for a Trip to Tome, Japan

Southlake Sister Cities is accepting applications for its annual youth delegation trip to Tome, Japan, which has been a Sister City since 1991. Each summer, a group of Southlake students and chaperone(s) head to the Far East for a once-in-a-lifetime Japanese experience. The annual Southlake youth ambassador exchange trip to Tome, Japan is planned for June 9-16, 2014.  Students ages 14-18 years old are encouraged to apply. Applications are available online and are due by February 15, 2014.

After arriving in Tokyo and then a bullet train ride to Tome, they are paired with host families for their week-long stay. In addition to experiencing Japanese culture, customs and cuisine first-hand, the host families escort the youth ambassadors to many places in Tome, known for its samurai history, as well as scenic Matsushima.

Tome is located in the northeast part of the Miyagi Prefecture with a population of approximately 91,905 residents. Tome was originally a district that consisted of eight towns, including Southlake’s original Sister City, Toyoma. In April 2005, the towns merged with the town of Tsuyama, formerly of the Motoyoshi District, to form the new city of Tome.

According to Candice Edmondson, Deputy Director of Community Services, participating in an exchange program, like the youth ambassador trip to Tome, Japan, is a life changing experience. “Students who are able to participate in a youth exchange program not only develop a greater understanding for cultures much different than our own, but they also create life-long friendships.  The students I chaperoned two years ago keep in touch with their host families and continue to participate in other Sister Cities programs.  My husband and I also developed a close relationship with our host family and communicate with them on a regular basis.  Ask anyone who’s been before and they will say that the trip to Tome was one of the best experiences of their lives” she said.

Southlake Sister Cities (SSC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering global understanding, friendship and communication through education and exchanges. Membership is open to individuals, youth, families, non-profit/civic organizations, for profit businesses, and patrons.

For more information, go to www.SouthlakeSisterCities.org or contact Candice Edmondson in the Community Services Department at 817-748-8311 or by email at cedmondson@ci.southlake.tx.us.

Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassadors Return from China and Soon Head to Japan

Teens in Southlake have many opportunities to broaden their horizons, including to the Far East. Thanks to Southlake Sister Cities (SSC), which has official agreements with Suzhou Wuzhong, China, and Tome, Japan, teens can travel to these countries to further the non-profit organization’s mission of fostering global understanding, friendship and communication through education and exchanges. SSC coordinates adult and youth ambassador exchange trips between the two countries.

As part of its friendship city agreement with Wuzhong, the first-ever Southlake youth  ambassador exchange trip took place March 8-15, during Carroll ISD’s Spring Break. Accompanied by Jeff Wang, president of SSC and city councilman, and his wife, five students were paired with host families in Wuzhong during their stay to experience first-hand the Chinese culture. In addition, a well-planned itinerary included a visit to Jiangsu Foreign Language School, exploring historical sites, and a two-day tour of Shanghai.

Plans for the youth ambassador trip have been in the works for awhile. An adult delegation, including Wang, Southlake Mayor John Terrell and CISD Assistant Superintendent Derek Citty, visited Wuzhong in 2010 to speak with local government and school officials about youth delegations visiting both countries. The goal is to make this an annual trip and applications are already being accepted for the next trip during CISD’s 2014 Spring Break.

According to Wang, the student trip exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“On a scale of one to ten, I rate it as a 10.5. It truly is an experience of a lifetime,” says Wang, noting one student has already asked to return. “This first trip was very important in setting the course for the future.”

The feelings must be mutual as a youth delegation from Wuzhong will visit Southlake this fall during CISD’s homecoming. The Carroll Dragons were introduced in Wuzhong as part of a presentation to officials that included a Dragons football helmet.

Wang adds that he is working to setup an exhibit at CISD and city facilities to display photographs taken during the trip to increase student interest in the program.

This June, a youth ambassador group will travel to Tome, Japan, which Southlake has had a Sister City agreement since 1991 and sends a youth delegation each summer. After arriving in Tokyo and then a bullet train ride to Tome, students and chaperone(s) are paired with host families for their week-long stay. In addition to experiencing Japanese culture, customs and cuisine, the host families escort the youth ambassadors to many places in Tome, known for its samurai history, as well as scenic Matsushima.

Accompanying the nine students to Tome is Brett Wilson, who has worked for Southlake Department of Public Safety for 12 years and is currently a school resource officer (SRO) at CISD’s two middle schools.

Officer Wilson believes she will be an asset to the teens going on the trip, but that she can also use the experience to help raise awareness about Sister Cities.

“My calling is youth and to help them make good decisions — wherever they are. It is important to be in a safe travel environment by using common sense and being aware of your surroundings,” she states. “I’m in the schools every day and I’ve never heard of this program. There are many kids who would love the opportunity to visit outside Southlake.”

The City of Southlake sends an application to city staff each year to apply to be the youth delegation chaperon to Tome. A panel consisting of Southlake Sister Cities board members and Candice Edmondson, deputy director of community services and staff liaison to SSC, reviews the applications and interviews the candidates.

To qualify as a youth ambassador, students must be a resident of Southlake or current member of Southlake Sister Cities; and between 15-18 years of age (at the time trip begins). To qualify, students must submit a recommendation from a teacher or counselor and attend mandatory orientation(s) prior to the trip.

Membership in Southlake Sister Cities is open to individuals, youth, families, non-profit/civic organizations, for profit businesses, and patrons. For more information, go to www.southlakesistercities.org.

Southlake Sister Cities Seeks Youth Ambassadors for Trips to China and Japan

As the saying goes, friendship knows no distance. This is certainly the case for Southlake and Suzhou Wuzhong District, China. Although thousands of miles and an ocean apart, the two cities signed a Friendship City agreement in November 2010 to develop a reciprocal relationship and promote cultural exchanges. Operating under the same guidelines as the Sister City relationships Southlake has with Tome in Japan and El Fuerte in Mexico, the term Friendship City is used in China.

As part of the Friendship City agreement, the first Southlake youth ambassador exchange trip is planned March 8-15, 2013, during Carroll ISD’s Spring Break. A life changing event, students and chaperones are paired with Wuzhong host families during their stay to experience first-hand the Chinese culture. In addition, a well-planned itinerary combines historical, educational, and cultural activities:

  • Visit beautiful Suzhou City, known as “Venice of the East” and “City of Gardens”
  • Explore historical sites that carry more than 2,500 years of rich cultural heritage
  • Interact with students and faculty at Jiangsu Foreign Language School
  • Tour the magnificent city of Shanghai

The approximate cost of the trip is $2000 per person (including airfare) and applications, available online, in the Southlake Public Library, or the Community Services Department must be submitted by December 15. To qualify as a youth ambassador, students must be a resident of Southlake or current member of Southlake Sister Cities; between 15-18 years of age (at the time trip begins); submit a recommendation from a teacher or counselor; and attend mandatory orientation(s) prior to the trip.

According to Candice Edmondson, the City’s staff liaison to Southlake Sister Cities, being a youth ambassador means representing Southlake and the United States.

“Being a youth ambassador to another country is a huge honor. We want to instill in the kids that they are representing their school, community and country,” she said.

Plans for the youth ambassador trip have been in the works for awhile. An adult delegation, including Southlake City Council Member Jeff Wang, who is also president of Southlake Sister Cities, visited the Wuzhong District of Suzhou, China in November 2011 to speak with local government and school officials about youth delegations visiting both countries. The hope is to make these trips an annual occurrence.

Suzhou, which has a population of more than six million, is a cultural city with a history spanning 2,500 years. It is located at the entrance of the Yangtze River Delta in China. With a network of rivers and canals as well as fertile land, the city is rich in a variety of agricultural products. Suzhou has been referred to as the “City of Gardens,” “Land of Fish and Rice,” “Silk Capital” and “Paradise on Earth.” Aside from its beauty, Suzhou is also an economic powerhouse— ranked first for contracted foreign capital and fourth in total import/export volume in China. Wuzhong District (pop. 600,000) enjoys a history of well developed culture, picturesque landscape and is the cradle land of ancient Wu Culture.

Southlake Sister Cities is also accepting applications for its annual youth delegation trip to Tome, Japan, which has been a Sister City since 1991. Each summer, a group of Southlake students and chaperone(s) head to the Far East for a once-in-a-lifetime Japanese experience. After arriving in Tokyo and then a bullet train ride to Tome, they are paired with host families for their week-long stay. In addition to experiencing Japanese culture, customs and cuisine first-hand, the host families escort the youth ambassadors to many places in Tome, known for its samurai history, as well as scenic Matsushima.

Tome is located in the northeast part of the Miyagi Prefecture with a population of approximately 91,905 residents. Tome was originally a district that consisted of eight towns, including Southlake’s original Sister City, Toyoma. In April 2005, the towns merged with the town of Tsuyama, formerly of the Motoyoshi District, to form the new city of Tome.

Southlake Sister Cities (SSC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering global understanding, friendship and communication through education and exchanges. Membership is open to individuals, youth, families, non-profit/civic organizations, for profit businesses, and patrons.  For more information, go to www.southlakesistercities.org.