Twenty-five Phoenix high school students were selected as youth ambassadors to travel to eight of Phoenix’s nine sister cities through a summer student exchange program. The students returned home just in time to welcome their host family’s son or daughter when they come to Phoenix in late July.

Among them are Jessica Meliech of Sunnyslope High School, who went to Ennis, Ireland; and Sophie Rabb of Thunderbird High, who traveled to Chengdu, China. Ronek Padgaonkar, also from Thunderbird High, visited Himeji, Japan.

The Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, sponsored by Phoenix Sister Cities, offers young people an opportunity to learn about and experience each other’s cultures. High school sophomores and juniors are selected on the basis of their communication skills, maturity, flexibility, leadership and self-confidence.

For more information, call 480-635-6861 or visit


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