Blog Archives

Phoenix Youth Ambassadors Selected for Sister City Visits

[Source: City of Phoenix]

Twenty-one Phoenix high school students were selected as youth ambassadors to travel to Phoenix’s nine sister cities through a summer student exchange program.

The Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, sponsored by Phoenix Sister Cities, offers young people from around the world an opportunity to learn about and experience each other’s cultures.

High school sophomores and juniors are selected on the basis of their communication skills, maturity, flexibility, leadership and self-confidence.  The students live with a host family in their designated sister cities for three weeks during the early summer and then house their host family’s son or daughter when they come to Phoenix in late July.

Here are the 2011 Phoenix youth ambassadors and their sister city destinations:

Calgary Canada

Camille Alexander, Gateway Early College High School
Matdy Friedrich, Sandra Day O’Connor High School

Catania, Italy

Mathew Magro, Mountain Pointe High School
Conrad Sanders, Sandra Day O’Connor High School

Chengdu, China

Alyssa Goya, Pinnacle High School
Lauren Schaecher, Arcadia High School

Ennis, Ireland

Kaitlin Hurley, Sandra Day O’Connor High School
Morgan Marum, Xavier College Preparatory Academy
Jamie Hulsey, Xavier College Preparatory Academy

Grenoble, France

Emily Lierle. North Canyon High School
Jacqueline Shortridge, Xavier College Preparatory Academy

Hermosillo, Mexico

Alexa Foster, Pinnacle High School
Megan McFeely, Shadow Mountain High School

Himeji, Japan

Kayla Grote, Phoenix Christian Unified High School
Frea Mehta, Phoenix Country Day School
Eliza Skidmore, Desert Vista High School
Julian Weinstein, Arcadia High School

Ramat-Gan, Israel

Logan Rader, Greenway High School
Aditya Vijay, Chaparral High School

Taipei, Taiwan

Kelly Mittendorf, Arcadia High School
Zach Webb, Sunnyslope High School

About Phoenix Sister Cities

Since 1988, 509 Phoenix students have participated in the Phoenix Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Exchange Program. The 2011 program is funded through private donations and students’ families.  Phoenix Sister Cities funds half of the airfare between Phoenix and the selected sister city through private funds, while the remaining half is the responsibility of the youth ambassadors and their families. No city tax dollars are used.

For more information, call 480-635-6861 or visit

Downtown Phoenix’s Tumbleweed Drop in Center

[Source: Tumbleweed Theater Project]

Think you know the story on homeless youth? Did you know there are over 1,000 youth without homes every night in Phoenix alone? For the past five years, ASU and Tumbleweed have been collaborating on arts projects ranging from digital storytelling to haunted houses to original theatre productions. Sponsored by Artswork, Place, Vision, Voice and the Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development.

The Tumbleweed Drop in Center in downtown Phoenix, AZ provides basic needs and services for homeless and at risk youth in the Phoenix community. In addition to basic services, a partnership with community based artists at Arizona State University brings a wide variety of arts programming into the center. If you are a young person between the ages of 18 and 24 in Phoenix, interested in receiving services through the DIC, you can find us at 902 N. 5th Street, Phoenix AZ 85004 or call for more information at (602) 462-5611.

If you are interested in more information about the arts programming that happens in the center, please email them at

ASU to open downtown Phoenix children’s mental health center

[Source: Kristena Hansen, Phoenix Business Journal] — Arizona State University announced a Nov. 2 opening for a health center that specializes in the treatment and prevention of child and adolescent mental health disorders.  It will be located at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation in downtown Phoenix.

The Southwest Health Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child-Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Disorders is funded in part by a grant from United Healthcare and will be staffed with a team of psychiatric and mental health nurse practioners and psychologists.  The new center will offer comprehensive mental health evaluations, evidence-based treatment, medication management and treatment, family and group therapy, and preventative intervention programs.

“In Arizona, five of 15 counties do not have child psychiatrists to which primary care providers can refer their patients,” said Dean Bernadette Melnyk.  [Note: Read the full article at ASU to open downtown Phoenix children’s mental health center.]

Idea of the Day: Intersection Repair

From time to time, we’ll throw out an “Idea of the Day” culled from sources here in Arizona and elsewhere.  The following idea was passed along by Jo Marie McDonald with the Phoenix Community Alliance.  It’s called Intersection Repair, and here’s what it’s all about:

City Repair street painting, Portland, OREver dreamed of making the streets outside your abode more livable, pedestrian-friendly, and community-oriented?  City Repair in Portland, Oregon hosts an annual Village Building Convergence where hundreds of people come together to build diverse projects for the benefit of their communites and to take back their streets via a process known as the Intersection Repair.  This involves painting streets with a high-visiblity mural that creates a public square for residents to gather and one which gently encourages drivers to slow down when approaching these spaces.  Over time the neighbors further enhance the transformation by adding amenities like benches, community bulletin boards, and introducing gardens & art.

If you have an idea for an “Idea of the Day” for our community to consider, please pass it along!

Councilman Nowakowski invites youth to apply for District 7 Youth Council

Councilman Michael Nowakowski will form a District 7 Youth Council to focus on priorities such as educational programs, at-risk youth, community events, and crime within their communities.  The youth council will define goals for the next two years and work with Nowakowski and city staff to achieve them.  The group will consist of 90 local youth members, which is 15 youth from each of the six Village Planning Committees within the district, including: Central City, Laveen, South Mountain, Maryvale, Estrella, and Encanto.  Residents of the district from 16 to 18 years old are encouraged to apply.

To apply, click here and download an application.  Completed applications, along with a resume, can be mailed to the District 7 office at 200 W. Washington St., 11th floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003 or sent via e-mail.  The deadline is Wednesday, March 26.  For more information, call Gregory Coleman at 602-262-7492 or via e-mail.