The Sister Cities Youth Exchange Program
The purpose of the Young Ambassador Youth Exchange is to provide an opportunity for Peoria youth and their families to develop an understanding for, and with, the people of Ards, Northern Ireland through a family-to-family living experience. Trans-Atlantic bonds grow stronger as local families open their homes to visitors from the “twinned” city. Peoria youth become cultural enrichment scholars through this exchange.
To be eligible for the Young Ambassador Youth Exchange the candidate must live in Peoria municipal boundaries, as well as be at least 15 years of age, not yet a senior in high school, be currently enrolled in school, and maintain a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average.
Four students are selected from a pool of candidates who are referred to the application process by a school principal or other leaders in the community. Candidates complete a comprehensive application packet and participate in an interview before a screening panel. Once selected, delegates are required to attend an orientation, participate in lead up activities, and to participate in future promotional and selection processes for the Young Ambassador Exchange Program.
Peoria is a member of Arizona Sister Cities.
The youth delegates are responsible to be cooperative at every point of family living; to be helpful with the household and family duties; and to assume the same responsibility as the other members of the host family.
Download the application packet below. Application deadline was December 30, 2012. Next year's packet will be available in October. The 2012-2013 packet files are Adobe Acrobat PDF files. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. To learn more about Adobe Acrobat or to download the software, click here.
The History Between “Sister Cities” - Peoria, Arizona and Borough of Ards, Northern Ireland
On January 9, 2002 the City of Peoria and the Borough of Ards, Northern Ireland formalized sister city relations with the signing of a partnership agreement between the two cities. In 2003 both Ards and Peoria adopted a formal business plan that identified common goals, objectives, and tasks relating to maintaining appropriate sister city functions. The general focus of the business plan involves efforts to strengthen civic, cultural, and commercial ties.
To date, several components of the program have excelled in moving toward the stated goals. The Young Ambassador Youth Exchange between Peoria and Ards has been mentioned by several other Arizona cities as an example of the positive outcomes of involving youth in cultural exchanges.
Economic development is a key component of the sister city partnership. Both cities continue to identify economic development initiatives that will result in the creation of jobs, an increase in exports/imports, and additional private investment in both communities.
The Sister City concept leads to affiliations between the United States and other countries, and became a national effort, when President Eisenhower proposed the program at a White House conference in 1956. Since then, 1,200 American cities representing all 50 states have affiliated with 2,100 cities in 125 countries around the world.
The Peoria Sister City Program arranges travel details for Peoria delegates of the Young Ambassador Program. With many Sister City programs, such as the Young Ambassador Exchange, delegates stay at the homes of host families abroad, and then in turn serve as a host for their counterpart’s return visit.
View The Sister Cities Youth Exchange Photo Gallery
We would like to thank and recognize our business Program Partners!
Also see the Ards Peoria Arts Partnership