Sister Cities wins award for innovation with youth and education

Published on August 11, 2022

CITY NEWS sister cities youth award.jpg

Fort Worth won the Sister Cities International Innovation in Youth & Education Award for a city with a population greater than 300,000 for outstanding youth programming in 2021.

The awards competition, which is open to more than 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.

Fort Worth Sister Cities International has some of the most robust international youth programming in the U.S. The program focuses programming on youth because these programs change the trajectory of a student’s life by:

  • Improving school performance.
  • Teaching perseverance.
  • Providing problem-solving skills.
  • Giving students an edge for universities and scholarships.
  • Increasing students’ desire to serve the community.
  • Creating empathy for others.

In 2021, Fort Worth Sister Cities International explored ways to increase the innovation and diversity of its programs. With the pandemic preventing many in-person programs and exchanges, the team of staff and volunteers rolled up their sleeves, conducted numerous online meetings and designed virtual programming for students and educators to increase global competency in the community.

Because most of the programming was conducted virtually, it was accessible to many more students since there was little cost associated with the online programming. The students demonstrated Fort Worth’s diversity to the world: 37% Latino/Hispanic; 17% White; 24% Black; 19% Asian/Pacific Islander; and 3% multi-racial.

Programs conducted in 2021 included:

  • Virtual Youth Ambassador exchange with Nagaoka, Japan.
  • The Experiment Digital virtual exchange program through the U.S. Department of State.
  • Showcase of Young Artists and Authors.
  • Local student group Fort Worth Youth International.
  • Virtual programming with Boys & Girls Club of Tarrant County and Toluca, Mexico.
  • Virtual International Leadership Academy with six sister cities.
  • World Learning virtual homestay with Central America and the Dominican Republic.

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; and youth and education. All award winners were honored during Sister Cities International’s 2022 Annual Business Meeting held virtually July 8.

Find out more about Sister Cities youth programs.



Photo: After being virtual in 2021, Fort Worth Sister Cities youth activities are returning to include more in-person events now.



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