Tuesday, March 28, 2017




What is the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program?
Phoenix high school sophomores and juniors apply to be selected to serve as a Youth Ambassador to one of Phoenix's ten Sister Cities. Upon selection the Youth Ambassadors will participate in Academy Sessions where they not only learn how to interact in their host country and what they can expect, but also how to best represent Phoenix, the state of Arizona, and the United States abroad. Prior to the exchange, Youth Ambassadors will also participate in fundraising events.


Each Youth Ambassador will depart in the summer to spend approximately three weeks in the Sister City they are assigned. They will live with a host family and an international counterpart where they will be fully immersed in the culture of the Sister City. While abroad, Youth Ambassadors can expect an eye-opening experience learning all about the Sister City, their international counterpart, and themselves.


Shortly after the Youth Ambassadors return to Phoenix, their international counterparts from their host city will then travel to Phoenix to spend approximately three weeks living with the Youth Ambassador. While the international counterparts are visiting, both the Phoenix and the international Youth Ambassadors will engage in trips and activities to give the international students the best representation of Phoenix culture.


Following the program are a series of alumni events as well as promotion and marketing for the next year's Youth Ambassadors. By being a part of the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program students become part of global community, learn about different cultures, make great friends from around the world, and participate in a life-changing experience!


Applications for the 2017 Youth Ambassador Exchange Program will be available September 19, 2016!

YAEP Preview Night will be held on November 14, 2016


What are you waiting for? Where will you go? 


Click here to read more about the program.

View video highlights from the 2014 Youth Ambassador Exchange program!

Location: 200 West Washington Street, Phoenix AZ 85003, 20th Floor

Phoenix Sister Cities (PSC) is a not-for-profit, citizen-based, volunteer organization that is governed

by a 40-member Board of Directors, was established in 1972, and now supports ten sister city relationships:

Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Chengdu, China; Ennis, Ireland; Grenoble, France; Hermosillo, Mexico;

Himeji, Japan; Prague, Czech Republic; Ramat-Gan, Israel; and Taipei, Taiwan.


 YAEP 1 1





2017 Application


              Application Instruction Packet



YAEP Nomination Form (Teachers Only) 

View Mandatory YAEP Meeting and Event Dates



  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen
  • A resident of the City of Phoenix (determined through council district)
  • A sophomore or junior in high school at the time of application
  • Participate in the group and individual interviews during the specified dates
  • Willing to serve as a Youth Ambassador for the city in which he/she may be selected

If Selected, Each Applicant Must:

  • Participate in all pre-departure meetings and cultural orientations
  • Participate in all activities planned upon return to Phoenix
  • Be willing to promote the YAEP and commit a full year to PSC activities after completion of the program
  • Be willing to host a visiting Youth Ambassador from the city visited
  • Become a family-level member of Phoenix Sister Cities ($75 membership fee)
  • Family members 18+ years of age must consent to a background check
  • Participate in all Youth Ambassador Academy Sessions including graduation/loyalty oath ceremony

Contractual Agreements:
All Youth Ambassadors and parents/guardians will be required to enter a contractual agreement upon being selected for the program. Please review the agreements to fully understand the requirements associated with the YAEP. Additional information or questions in regards to the agreements can be made directly to the Phoenix Sister Cities office at (602) 534-3751

Youth Ambassador Agreement  


Host Family Contract



Youth Ambassador Responsibility:

Each selected Youth Ambassador is expected to obey the laws of the United States and the host country. Youth Ambassadors should be sensitive to cultural differences and not offend the religions, customs or politics of their host country. Youth Ambassadors are not permitted to operate motor vehicles while in their host country during the exchange. PSC expects all Youth Ambassadors to be cooperative in every aspect of family living, to be helpful with household duties and to assume the same responsibilities as the other members of the family. All Youth Ambassadors are expected to adapt to and graciously accept the accommodations of the Sister City host, regardless of the host family's income level. Youth Ambassadors are expected to participate in as many activities as possible so that they may learn about life in that community and be able to relate these experiences to the people of Phoenix upon their return. Youth Ambassadors are required, and families encouraged, to be actively involved in Phoenix Sister Cities for a full year.

Parent Responsibility:

Parents are expected to support their daughter's/son's selection as a Youth Ambassador. Each family agrees to host a Youth Ambassador from the Sister City their son/daughter visits for approximately three weeks during late July and early August. Parents should be aware of the responsibilities and requirements for this program and that the Youth Ambassadors will be asked to speak about their experiences throughout the year following their trip. Additional details about parent role and responsibility will be available at the January informational meeting after the applications are submitted.


Financial Responsibility:

Travel expenses to and from the selected sister city, health insurance, and personal expenses will be borne by the Youth Ambassador and his/her family. Each Youth Ambassador will be expected to pay a $325 partially-refundable trip deposit immediately following selection notification. All applicants are encouraged to apply for scholarship/financial assistance to cover participation and hosting expenses. Contact Phoenix Sister Cities at (602) 534-3757 to obtain more information.


Expenses Breakdown



PSC will make travel insurance coverage available for Youth Ambassadors in case of illness or injury beginning the day of departure and ending upon return. Purchase of this insurance is the responsibility of each family. This is travel health insurance and is not intended to take the place of standard insurance coverage. It is the responsibility of the Youth Ambassador and parent/guardian to provide additional health insurance coverage applicable in case of illness or injury during the exchange. Each student will complete a health information sheet that will be sent to the host family. This sheet will include all medical information necessary in the event of illness. The Youth Ambassador is expected to follow the reasonable advice of the hosting family. If emergency treatment is required or serious illness occurs, your host family will advise either the local coordinator and/or your parent/guardian.



Each selected Youth Ambassador is responsible for obtaining a valid passport and must provide a copy of his/her passport to the PSC office by April of 2014. PSC will handle arrangements for visas (not including fees), if required. The Maricopa County Passport Office is located at 601 West Jackson Street, Phoenix, (602) 506-6350.


Travel and Trips:

The purpose of the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program is to allow Youth Ambassadors from Phoenix and our Sister Cities the opportunity to learn about each others' city in a unique way. When serving as a Youth Ambassador in your designated Sister City, travel outside of that city is to occur only if your parents/legal guardians have provided prior approval to your host family. When you and your family host your international Youth Ambassador here in Phoenix, you may travel within the state of Arizona with your exchange Youth Ambassador and are required to participate in ALL PSC organized excursions/trips. You may not travel outside the state of Arizona without prior written permission of the exchange Youth Ambassador's legal guardians and prior permission from PSC. In the event of approved travel outside of Arizona, a copy of your itinerary must be provided to both PSC and the international Youth Ambassador's legal guardians.


Schedule Changes:

The PSC Youth Ambassadors will travel to and from their assigned cities as a delegation with other PSC Youth Ambassadors. Students will always travel in groups of 2-10. No chaperones/adults travel with the students. If airline schedules change due to weather, missed connections, mechanical problems, etc., the Youth Ambassadors are required to stay with the PSC delegation as a group.

Please call 602-534-3751 or contact the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program Manager, Bethany Bennick, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (602) 534-3751, before the deadline, for any questions and to confirm that all submissions were received to the office.




2016 Youth Ambassadors Abroad  



2016 Youth Ambassadors Graduation & Induction


 2015 Youth Ambassadors in Taipei!


2015 Youth Ambassadors in Ramat-Gan!


2015 Youth Ambassadors living large in Himeji!


2015 Youth Ambassadors in Hermosillo!


 2015 Youth Ambassadors take on Grenoble!


2015 Youth Ambassadors having a great time in Ennis!


2015 Youth Ambassadors in Chengdu! 



YAEP 2015 Airport Departures!

YAEP 2014 During Their Stay Abroad.

YAEP 2014 Airport Departures.


YAEP Fundraising 2014.


2014 Youth Ambassador Exchange Program Induction and Graduation Ceremony 

2014 Youth Ambassador Academy Sessions


2014 Youth Ambassador Announcement Party


2013 Youth Ambassador Academy Graduation & Induction Ceremony

The Youth Ambassador Academy Graduation & Induction Ceremony occurred on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Congratulations to our graduates!



2013 YAEP Car Wash Fundraiser


2013 Youth Ambassador Exchange Program Rummage Sale


2013 Youth Ambassador Exchange Program Announcement Party & Family Mixer 


2013 Youth Ambassador Exchange Program Exploratory Day 




2016 Ambassadors

Meet the 2016 Youth Ambassadors



Catania, Italy



Max McCauley, Arcadia High School,

Sophomore, View Blog


Isabel Ramirez, North High School,

Junior, View Blog


Emily Hartzler, Tempe Prep,

Junior, View Blog


Chengdu, China



Karanveer Khettra, AAC,

Junior, View Blog


Rachel Violette,Thunderbird,

Sophomore, View Blog

IMG 7448 min

Emily Wood, Sunnyslope,  

Junior, View Blog

IMG 7446 min

William Tew, Arcadia,

Junior, View Blog


Ennis, Ireland




Alicia Belter, Arcadia,

Junior, View Blog


Jennifer Garnica,Tempe High,

Sophomore, View Blog



Abigail Guiterrez, AAEC,

Junior, View Blog


Kyle Haines, North High,

Sophomore, View Blog


Grenoble, France



Isaac Skidmore, Desert Vista,

Sophomore, View Blog


Rachel Robbins, Veritas Prep,

Junior, View Blog


Hermosillo, Mexico



Mercedes Arterberry,Alhambra,

Junior, View Blog


Madyson Zeremeno, Veritas Prep,

Junior, View Blog


Xavier Gonzalez, AAEC Estrella

Junior,View Blog



Himeji, Japan



Ryan Cooley, Desert Vista,

Sophomore, View Blog


Sydney Janssen, Betty Fairfox,

Junior, View Blog



Madison May, Vertias Prep,

Junior, View Blog


Camron King, Valley Lutheran,

Junior, View Blog


Prague, Czech Republic



Erica Baratz, AZ School for the Arts

Junior, View Blog


Vidal Duarte, Veritas Prep,

Junior, View Blog


Katherine Hann, Xavier Prep,

Junior, View Blog


Taipei, Taiwan



Marthilde Rispoli, 
AZ School for the Arts, 

Sophomore, View Blog


McConnell Quinn, 
Boulder Creek,

Sophomore, View Blog


Terryn McDonald, 

Mountain Pointe, 

Junior, View Blog





YAEP Newsletter

Summer 2015
Summer 2014 Summer 2013 Summer 2012














YAEP Highlights in Catania!



YAEP Highlighted on Himeji Website!


Click Here to view site and more pictures.



To learn more about YAEP, watch the videos below:



2013 Youth Ambassadors at Mt. Etna


Through the Eyes of a Teenager


Each summer students are given a film or photo project to help provide insight to future potential applicants about the program.  Click below to see some of the projects done in the past.


2010 - Youth Ambassador Videos




Click here to download what alumni of YAEP are saying about how much they enjoyed YAEP.  Will you be the next alumni we can quote?


Take a walk down memory lane with the 2012 Phoenix Youth Ambassadors!


Check out our YAEP Postcards


2015 Click here
2014 Click here
2012 Click here 
2011 Click here



Support YAEP

Thank you for your support!

To see a video summary of YAEP 2012, please click here.To see a video by know99 that details the experience of Phoenix student Karly McCauley and her counterpart, Marion, please click here.

 The Phoenix Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Exchange Program would like to recognize you for your support. Our program could not be as successful as it is without help from volunteers, sponsors and members of the local community.Thanks to your help, forty-two students from ten different countries were able to experience the summer of a lifetime by representing their city abroad and developing lifelong friendships.As we prepare for YAEP 2016, we look forward to your continued support!