Vernon students chosen for program

U.S.-based Sister Cities International interviewed three Vernon students for participation in its youth ambassador program.

Vernon will play a critical role in expanding cross-border awareness in North America.

Sister Cities International, a Washington, D.C. organization, interviewed three local students Wednesday for participation in its youth ambassador program.

“We’re expecting great things for Vernon because of their students,” said Harold Pereverseff, a Sister Cities International volunteer who led the interviews.

The three Vernon students will be paired up with counterparts from Modesto, Calif. and Aguascalientes, Mexico over a three-week period.

“They might be in various locations throughout California and then they will be in Washington, D.C. for the final week,” said Pereverseff.

“They will develop a knowledge of what’s going on in each other’s communities.”

Vernon was selected as a participant for 2012 because of its longtime commitment to international relations.

“Vernon has been a sister city with Modesto for many years,” said Pereverseff.

The youth ambassador program is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State and it was recently expanded to include  all of the countries of North America.

The primary focus for the students is the environment and poverty and to investigate how these issues are being addressed by communities, individuals and countries.

“The long-term goal is to develop citizens in each country,” said Pereverseff.

“We hope they can do something better in their community.”

The identities of the three Vernon students cannot be disclosed until their participation has been formally approved by Sister Cities International in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Department of State.