Hendersonville Sister Cities Wins Sister Cities International’s “Innovation Award for Youth & Education”

July 11, 2018


WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 11, 2018) – Hendersonville Sister Cities has won Sister Cities International’s 2018 “Innovation Award for Youth & Education” for cities with populations under 25,000, for the organization’s inaugural "Hendersonville Student Ambassador" Travel Scholarship program.


The awards competition, open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation. The Innovation Awards specifically recognize activities by members that show originality and impact, expanding preconceived ideas about what is possible through sister cities and international exchange.


Created in November 2017, the “Hendersonville Student Ambassador" Travel Scholarship was designed to provide assistance to local students and facilitate the exchange of ideas and culture globally, and to foster awareness and appreciation of international relations among Henderson County youth. This year, HSC awarded $3,000 to five local students to study abroad in Peru, Italy, Jordan, France, and Scotland. When scholarship recipients return from their travels, they will present on their cultural exchange experiences at HSC “Speaker Series” events, providing additional community impact.


“We all stand to learn from these superstar Sister City programs as they impact their communities across a broad range of sectors that include business entrepreneurship, youth leadership, and arts and culture,” said Roger-Mark De Souza, Sister Cities International’s President & CEO. “These individuals and local organizations inspire us to be better citizens as their work exemplifies President Eisenhower’s vision of engaged international citizen diplomats. They create beneficial connections and lasting relationships which will help their communities today and for years to come.”


Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; youth and education; and professional and technical exchange categories. The organization also honors a “Volunteer of the Year” and a “Youth Leadership” who demonstrate exceptional efforts to advance peace through citizen diplomacy. All award winners will be recognized during SCI’s 2018 Annual Conference from August 2-4, in Aurora, Colorado.


The conference will bring together hundreds of the most influential citizen diplomats and global leaders in diplomacy, foreign affairs, policy, business, and innovation to discuss, share examples, and network. This year’s theme, Cities Leading the Way, will focus on smart and resilient cities, leadership development, and entrepreneurship as key building blocks of President Eisenhower’s vision of creating a more peaceful world through citizen engagement and international cooperation between cities.


Founded as a Presidential Initiative by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in more than 140 countries on six continents. The sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote the organizations’ mission of creating world peace and understanding through programs and projects focusing on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development.


For a full list of this year’s Sister Cities International Annual Awards winners, visit http://sistercities.org/2018/07/05/2018-annual-awards-congratulations-to-this-years-winners/.


About the “Hendersonville Student Ambassador” Travel Scholarship

Scholarships can be awarded for Spring, Summer, or Fall semester travel, and are open to students ages 16-26 with residency in Henderson County who are in the process of applying to or have been accepted for a study abroad, internship, or work study program. To donate to the “Hendersonville Student Ambassador” fund, or to learn more about Hendersonville Sister Cities, visit http://www.hendersonvillesistercities.com/.



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