china 2018 from kenzie on Vimeo.

High school juniors living in Gilbert or attending Gilbert schools invited to apply
for free trip to China and Northern Ireland next summer

GILBERT, Ariz. (Sept. 4, 2018) — High school juniors living in Gilbert or attending a school located in Gilbert have the opportunity to visit Leshan, China, or Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland for free next summer through Gilbert Sister Cities’ Youth Ambassador Program. Applications, which are due Oct. 19, are available at

The application, which includes a personal essay, parent essay and teacher recommendation, is part of a rigorous selection process that also includes individual and group interviews, social events and fundraisers—activities that also prepare candidates for college and scholarship applications and interviews.

“Regardless of whether they are selected as one of our four youth ambassadors, participation in the process helps candidates learn how to articulate their strengths, think on their feet and refine their ability to stand out from the crowd,” says Suzanne Lunt, Gilbert Sister Cities’ president. “To make the experience even more beneficial to all, this year we will be bringing in experts on interviewing and networking to provide candidates with additional coaching.”

With Gilbert Sister Cities’ 20th anniversary approaching in November, candidates will also have the opportunity to participate in the Gilbert Days Parade and interact with delegates from Antrim-Newtownabbey, who are visiting to commemorate the agreement signed between the two cities in 1998.

“Although the candidates do extensive research on both of Gilbert’s sister cities, speaking with members of the Antrim-Newtownabbey Borough Council and business community will provide even greater insight into the culture they may experience,” Lunt says. “The opportunity to participate in the anniversary celebrations enables candidates to enjoy an even richer educational experience.”

Gilbert Sister Cities’ 2018 Youth Ambassadors are visiting schools and youth groups to generate interest in the program, provide details and answer questions; please contact Lunt at to schedule a presentation.


About Gilbert Sister Cities
Established in 1998 as a community-supported nonprofit organization, Gilbert Sister Cities brings the world together through cultural, educational, trade and sports programs that promote international and intercultural knowledge and understanding. Gilbert has two sister cities: Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland (1998) and Leshan, China (2002). More information is available at


20-year-old exchange program helps participants garner awards

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Mackenzie Taylor and Emma Webster to visit Leshan, China;
Trey Lines and Nicole Schuermann to visit Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland

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If you  hover your mouse pointer over the menu item Youth Ambassadors, you will be able to click on archived presentations from 2016.  You will also be able to click on a presentation from each of our 2017 Leshan delegates and Atrim & Newtownabbey delegates.

The four students that were chosen to participate in the exchange this past summer have returned from their amazing adventures. Please go to the sub heading of presentations to get see each of their experiences.

The two delegates that visited Antrim-Newtownabbey are:
Adie McIntosh and Bryson Johnson

The Leshan delegates are:

Nathan Greenlee and Lauren Smith

Congratulations to all those selected and all of the students that participated in the process!


Announcing the 2018 Gilbert Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Program

Click to Download 2018 Gilbert Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Application Form

Please Note:  Once you have downloaded the Youth Ambassador Application Form — you must save it to your computer.  To fill out the form open it up from your computer and the PDF form will be fillable.





Program History

One of the first programs instituted when the sister city partnership with Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland became official in 1998 was the establishment of a youth ambassador program.  2017 will mark the eighteenth year of the program and the eighth time a youth ambassador program took place with Leshan, China.


The high school youth exchange program offers juniors in high school who reside in Gilbert or are a student in a Gilbert or Higley school, an opportunity to develop an understanding of different countries, their cultures and people. The high school delegates are chosen by a committee through a selection process, which includes group interviews, a series of  individual interviews and informal gatherings with both the students and their parents. The students that are selected from Gilbert will travel to our sister city for approximately three weeks. During their stay they will have a chance to closely experience a new culture and make lifelong friends by living with the family of their exchange “brother or sister.”  The home hosted experience makes it possible for the delegates to learn about their host cultures and customs in ways not available to a casual visitor. The Gilbert delegates will bring back a wealth of fascinating stories about their stay abroad, their contacts with the people and the precious experiences, which teach them lifelong lessons.


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