Wednesday, September 17, 2014





Youth Ambassador Exchange Program


The Youth Ambassador Exchange Program is a competitive program -- but well worth the hard work.  This highly structured program provides both youth and families a unique opportunity to participate in a global exchange.  From training, to flights, culture shock, to gift giving, hosting, to passports – the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program has you covered. Click here to read a brief overview of the program.


  The 2015 Youth Ambassador Application is coming soon! 

YAEP Highlights in Catania!

YAEP Highlighted on Himeji Website!

Click Here to view site and more pictures.

2014 Youth Ambassadors Student Blogs

See and read about our Student Experiences

Student 2014 Blogs: 

Emma Mertens: Arizona School For The Arts student in Ennis

Ari Bradshaw: Phoenix Country Day School student in Prague
Rae Aaron: Arcadia High School student in Hermosillo
Mercedez Gutierrez: Mountain Pointe High School student in Taipei
James Glasscock: Horizon High School student in Chengdu
Laurel Freeman: Arizona School for the Arts student in Hermosillo
Seth Carroll: Sunnyslope High School student in Catania
Elena Pierson:  Arcadia High School student in Himeji
Olive Mier-Holland: Chaparral High School student in Taipei
Steven Sawtelle: Paradise Valley High School student in Chengdu
Danny Valencia: Tempe High School student in Grenoble
Jake Nemetz: Sandra Day O'connor High School in Ramat Gan
Emily Rauch: Arcadia High School student in Taipei

 Jennifer Macias: North High School student in Chengdu


To learn more about YAEP through the perspective of a teenager please click on the links below.

Youth Ambassador Exchange Program OverviewNew
Introduction to the program
Youth Ambassadors Abroad
Youth Ambassadors in Phoenix
YAEP Videos on Know99
Youth Ambassadors Try HurlingNew

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
2008 - Part I
2008 - Part II
2007 - Catania, Italy 
2007 - Chengdu, China
2007 - Ennis, Ireland
2007 - Grenoble, France
2007 - Hermosillo, Mexico
2007 - Himeji, Japan
2007 - Prague, Czech Republic
2007 - Ramat-Gan, Israel
2007 - Taipei, Taiwan


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

2014 Click here
2012 Click here 
2011 Click here

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 Application Instructions HERE.

Click HERE for the YAEP Application!

Access YAEP Nomination Form HERE.

Access YAEP 2014 Calendar HERE.


Application Requirements 


  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen
  • In good health
  • A resident of the City of Phoenix (pay a Phoenix water bill)
  • 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 upon return to Phoenix and commit a full year to PSC activities
  • 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 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 2012. 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.


Financial Responsibility

PSC will pay for 50% of the travel expenses between Phoenix and the selected sister city. The remaining 50%, mandatory $300 deposit and health insurance will be the responsibility of the Youth Ambassador and/or his/her family. Miscellaneous costs while in residence will be borne by the Youth Ambassador and/or his/her family. Youth Ambassadors should be prepared to travel with expense money (the amount will vary depending upon the city and personal shopping habits.) Each Youth Ambassador will be expected to pay a $300 partially-refundable trip deposit immediately following selection notification. Financial assistance is available for both participation and hosting expenses. To find out if you are eligible, please contact PSC at (480) 635-6861 to obtain more information and a financial aid form.


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 2013. 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

As stated on Page 1, 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 Director of the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, Ellen Mari, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , before the deadline, for any questions and to confirm that all submissions were received to the office.

Photo Gallery





Youth Ambassadors from Chengdu on their way to Phoenix!




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!

Click on the images to see them full-size. Use your ‹ › arrow keys or mouse to move between photos.


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 



2014 Youth Ambassadors

Meet the 2014 Youth Ambassadors


2014 Youth Ambassadors' blogs:




Catania, Italy  

  • Seth Carroll
  • Sunnyslope High School
  • Junior

  • Henry Mackey V
  • Arcadia High School
  • Junior

Chengdu, China  

  • Jennifer Macias
  • North High School
  • Junior

  • James Glasscock
  • Horizon High School
  • Junior

  • Steven Sawtelle
  • Paradise Valley High School
  • Junior

Ennis, Ireland  

  • Estefania Lopez
  • Trevor Browne High School
  • Junior

  • Emma Mertens
  • Arizona School for the Arts
  • Junior

Grenoble, France  

  • Juan "Danny" Valencia
  • Tempe High School
  • Junior

  • Gregory Flores
  • Brophy College Prep.
  • Junior

  • Hannah Espey
  • North Canyon High School
  • Sophomore

Hermosillo, Mexico  

  • Rae Aaron
  • Arcadia High School
  • Junior

  • Laurel Freeman
  • Arizona School for the Arts
  • Sophomore

  • Haley Farley
  • AAEC Estrella High School
  • Junior

Himeji, Japan  

  • Amanda Corona
  • Arizona School for the Arts
  • Junior

  • Elena Pierson
  • Arcadia High School
  • Junior

  • Ryan Featherston
  • Arizona School of the Arts
  • Junior

Prague, Czech Republic  

  • Ari Bradshaw
  • Phoenix Country Day HS
  • Sophomore

  • George Muhn
  • Shadow Mountain HS
  • Junior

Ramat-Gan, Israel  

  • Jakob Nemetz
  • Sandra Day O'Connor 
  • Junior

  • Cristobal Macias
  • Paradise Valley HS
  • Junior

Taipei, Taiwan  

  • Emily Rauch
  • Arcadia High School
  • Junior

  • Olive Mier-Holland
  • Chaparral High School
  • Junior


  • Mercedez Gutierrez
  • Mountain Pointe HS
  • Sophomore




YAEP Newsletter
Click below to find out about YAEP news!

Summer 2011 Summer 2012 Summer 2013


Support YAEP


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:

Thank you for your support!

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 2014, we look forward to your continued support!

 Give to YAEP today!