Two scholarship recipients, along with a very special ambassador, will be hosting youth from our Italian Sister City of Sestri Levante this summer for three weeks before returning to stay with the Italian families in Sestri Levante for three weeks.
Hannah (center) participated in DeLaveaga Elementary School’s dual immersion Spanish program growing up. During middle school, she raised money with her Girl Scout troop to travel to Costa Rica, where they planted trees, delivered school supplies, and had the opportunity to meet young Costa Rican students. As a high schooler, Hannah developed a strong interest in computer science with a special interest in coding and programming video games. She hopes to inspire more girls to enter the field of coding and programming, and aspires to create video games that incorporate problem solving and exposure to other cultures. Hannah co-founded a group in her high school which teaches girls how to advocate for themselves, and she is an avid athlete, especially as a basketball player.
Callie (right) has lived in and traveled to several states within the U.S. This has given her a perspective on different ways of life right here in our own country. Callie has a special interest in how we address social issues, and impressed us with her background in volunteering. She has participated in volunteer projects through her church and is the treasurer of her high school’s Interact club, which teaches leadership skills and the concept of “service above self” to youth. Callie is learning about the social and economic challenges facing our own community, and would like to learn how other communities around the world address similar challenges. Callie has studied three years of Spanish, swims, plays water polo, and is a poet.
Mitchell (left) is not a scholarship recipient, but will be traveling as part of the delegation as a special ambassador – he is Gralen’s nephew, and it is a rare and wonderful opportunity to be able to have one of Gralen’s family members participate in a cultural exchange in her honor. Mitchell has studied Spanish for three years, has traveled to Mexico several times, and is a past Sister Cities Youth Delegate to Shingu, Japan, where he stayed in the home of a Japanese family. He has a keenness for fishing, and would like to explore the historical connections between the fishing communities of Santa Cruz and Sestri Levante, as well as compare their techniques and traditions. In addition to fishing, Mitchell enjoys computers and skateboarding.
We are delighted to know Santa Cruz includes such outstanding young community members who will be representing us internationally!
April is our Annual Birthday Month Fundraising Drive – will you consider a donation to help us continue offering opportunities to potential young ambassadors? Click the link below!
No donation is too small, and your thoughtfulness and generosity is appreciated. The Wilson family is offering a special donation incentive – donations of $100 or more will receive a bottle of Gralen’s Grace Syrah Rosé from Wilson Family Vineyards.
Donations to the Gralen Eidam Wilson Youth Ambassador Scholarship Fund go directly to helping awarded youth travel and represent Santa Cruz abroad. Awards may also go to youth in our Sister Cities overseas to encourage international visitors to come to Santa Cruz in our effort to continue fostering global connections and awareness. All donations are tax deductible as part of the Santa Cruz Sister Cities Support group programs. Santa Cruz Sister Cities Support is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID #770575231).