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PHOENIX -- Phoenix youth ambassadors were selected to travel to eight of the city's nine sister cities around the world.

These students were chosen based on their communication skills, maturity, flexibility, leadership and self-confidence.

Through the summer 25 high school sophomores and juniors will be living with a host family in their designated sister cities.

Then the family's son or daughter will come to Phoenix in late July.

The Youth Ambassador Exchange Program offers students an opportunity to experience other cultures.

Hannah Blaile, Arizona School for the Arts; Margot Luna, Xavier College Prep and Brian Phalen, Arcadia High School, will travel to Catania, Italy.

Dane Hanson, Veritas Prep Academy; Chris Kenney, Arizona School for the Arts and Sophie Rabb, Thunderbird High School, will visit Chengdu, China.

Kayla Casey, Seton Catholic Prep; Jessica Meilech, Sunnyslope High School and Briana Quintero, La Joya High School; will spend their time in Ennis, Ireland.

Matthew Kaplan, Arizona School for the Arts; and Sarah Wax, Chaparral High School will visit Grenoble, France.

Scott Fitsimores, Arizona School for the Arts; Andrew Nicla, Mountain Pointe High School; Anna Novacek, Shadow Mountain High School and Arynn Spaulding, Mountain Pointe High School will be heading for Hermosillo, Mexico.

Hannah Daniel, Desert Vista High School; Sofie DeWulf, Arcadia High School; Martin Lopez and Brenda Luna, West Phoenix High School and Ronek Padgaonkar, Thunderbird High School, will travel to Himeji, Japan.

Ofelia Pina, West Phoenix High School and Teresa Velasco, Mountain Pointe High School, will be in Ramat-Gan, Israel.

Joseph Hernandez, West Phoenix High School; Grayson Kelly, Brophy College Prep and Heather Kendall, Desert Vista High School, will spend the summer in Taipei, Taiwan.

KTAR Newsroom,

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