Two Gilbert Classical Academy students chosen as 2023 Youth Ambassadors
In July, two of our own Gilbert Classical Academy students will travel to Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland as part of the Gilbert Sister Cities program. Jagoda Gliniak and David Wang were chosen as 2023 Youth Ambassadors after an extensive and rigorous selection process.
“This year’s ambassadors excelled during our selection process. Over the course of the last six months, the applicants completed multiple essays, participated in group and individual interviews, interacted with Gilbert Sister Cities board members and members of the community at social events, visited local businesses to obtain donations for a silent auction, washed cars and participated in three skill-building clinics presented by Gilbert business leaders,” said Lori Schuermann, Gilbert Sister Cities board member and chair of the Youth Ambassador program.
As part of the program, Gliniak and Wang will also host their counterparts from Northern Ireland sometime this summer. Gliniak is a member of GCA’s swim team. She also has a passion for art, doing projects in her free time as well as taking Advanced Placement art courses at her school. Wang is involved in the National Honor Society, the GCA Student Senate, Wind Ensemble and the school’s swim and dive team. He also volunteers at the Midwest Food Bank and the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
Prior to their student exchange trip, Gliniak and Wang will receive culture and protocol training for Northern Ireland. They’ll also take part in the Gilbert Global Village Festival, a multicultural celebration, happening April 1 at the Gilbert Civic Center. When they return home, they’ll visit schools and youth programs to share their experiences, information about the program and serve as mentors for the next group of candidates. In the fall, Gliniak and Wang will also take part in the annual Gilbert Days Parade.
The Gilbert Sister Cities program was established in 1998 to help bring the world together through cultural, educational, trade and sports programs. The Town of Gilbert has two sister cities: Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland and Leshan, China. As of this summer, the program has sent over 60 high school students abroad.