Amara Manning, David Wang, Jagoda Gliniak and Kyaira Carter to visit Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland

GILBERT, ARIZ. (March 10, 2023) — Following a rigorous four-month selection process, Gilbert Sister Cities has selected four high school juniors to serve as 2023 Youth Ambassadors. Kyaira Carter, Jagoda Gliniak, Amara Manning and David Wang will represent the Town of Gilbert on a trip to Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland in July. They will also serve as hosts for their counterparts from Northern Ireland this summer.

“This year’s ambassadors excelled during our selection process. Over the course of the last six months, the applicants completed multiple essays, participated in group and individual interviews, interacted with Gilbert Sister Cities board members and members of the community at social events, visited local businesses to obtain donations for a silent auction, washed cars and participated in three skill-building clinics, presented by Gilbert business leaders,” said Lori Schuermann, Gilbert Sister Cities board member and Chair of the Youth Ambassador program. “Kyaira, Jagoda, Amara and David will do a tremendous job representing Gilbert at home and abroad, and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish throughout the next year as well as in their bright futures.”

Carter, who attends Higley High School, participates in the speech and debate club and National Honor Society at school. She competes on a club soccer team and works at a local secondhand clothing store. Once she graduates, Carter plans to study political science and attend law school.

Gliniak, who attends Gilbert Classical Academy, is a member of the Swim team, where she competed at the state meet in November 2022. She enjoys making art in her free time, and is enrolled in an AP art course at school.

Manning, who attends Higley High School in Gilbert, is involved in the Best Buddies and Key clubs at her school, as well as club soccer. She works as a babysitter and volunteers her time helping at a local bakery where she makes and packages donuts. After high school, Manning plans to pursue a career in the medical field. 

Wang, who attends Gilbert Classical Academy, is involved in many activities, including National Honor Society, Student Senate, Wind Ensemble and the Swim and Dive team. Additionally, he volunteers at Midwest Food Bank and the Arizona Museum of Natural History.

Before beginning the student exchange, Gilbert Sister Cities Youth Ambassadors participate in the Gilbert Global Village Festival and receive culture and protocol training for Nothern Ireland. After they return, they are involved in the Gilbert Days Parade, visit schools and youth programs to share information about the program and serve as mentors for the next group of candidates. 

Gilbert Sister Cities will begin accepting applications for 2024 in the fall; any junior living in Gilbert or attending a Gilbert or Higley school is welcome to apply. 

About Gilbert Sister Cities

Established in 1998 as a community-supported nonprofit organization, Gilbert Sister Cities brings the world together through cultural, educational, trade and sports programs that promote international and intercultural knowledge and understanding. Gilbert has two sister cities: Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland (1998) and Leshan, China (2002); as of this summer, it has sent over 60 high school students abroad. More information is available at

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