FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From the city of St. Petersburg
CONTACT: Ann Wykell, 551-3250
Intergovernmental Services / Cultural Affairs Manager
Student Ambassadors Selected for Japan Sister City Trip
St. Petersburg, Fla. (June 4, 2007) -- Two local high school juniors, Zoe Williams and Kanyon McLean, will travel to Takamatsu, Japan as student ambassadors for three weeks this summer. Selected by the city's International Relations Committee, they will represent St. Petersburg for the annual official Sister City visit, July 8 to 28.
Northeast High School student Zoe Williams and St. Petersburg High School student, Kanyon McLean, are preparing for their trip that includes visiting a Takamatsu Senior High School for one week and living with a different host family each week. They will also meet with Mayor Onishi, the newly elected mayor of Takamatsu, bringing gifts and greetings from our city and Mayor Rick Baker.
"I have a longstanding interest in Japan and its customs and look forward to this once in a lifetime journey where I can immerse myself in the language and culture of this country," Zoe Williams said. "While we will be able to learn about Japanese culture and traditions, we will also be sharing with Japanese citizens our knowledge and important aspects about our American culture," said Kanyon McLean.
St. Petersburg, Florida and Takamatsu, Japan have participated in the international program as Sister cities for 47 years. For the student summer trip, applications were distributed to all public and private high schools in January and the two finalists were selected earlier this year through a process that includes a written application, essay and interview.
After returning from the Sister City summer trip, Zoe and Kanyon will be available for interviews to promote the program for next year. Each student has agreed to share her experiences with students, civic groups and other interested citizens during their senior year of high school.