Kelly Conway, Keilani George, Claire Hall, and Sydney Younce to visit Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland

GILBERT, ARIZ. — Following a rigorous four-month selection process, Gilbert Sister Cities has selected four high school juniors to serve as 2024 Youth Ambassadors. After hosting students from Antrim-Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland in their homes in June, Kelly Conway, Keilani George, Claire Hall, and Sydney Younce will spend a few weeks in Antrim-Newtownabbey in July. 

“The 2024 Youth Ambassador candidates spent the last six months completing numerous essays, taking part in both group and individual interviews, interacting with Gilbert Sister Cities board members and business community members at social events, visiting local businesses to gather donations for a silent auction, washing cars, and attending three skill-building clinics led by community leaders,” said Lori Schuermann, Gilbert Sister Cities board member and Chair of the Youth Ambassador program. “Kelly, Keilani, Claire, and Sydney have excelled throughout the selection process, and we are confident they will do an outstanding job representing Gilbert at home and abroad.”

Conway, who attends Highland High School, is involved in tech theatre and founded the Art Club at her school. She also volunteers with her church youth group. Conway also has a holiday popcorn and hot chocolate business, donating all earnings to the Make-A-Wish foundation each year.

George attends Campo Verde High School and participates in many activities, including volunteering with both Key Club and Biomedical Science Club, Girl Scouts, and is a third degree black belt in Taekwondo. After high school, she plans to pursue a career in cytogenetics.

Hall attends Gilbert High School and is involved with the aesthetics program at EVIT and her school’s Giving Closet. Outside school, she volunteers with organizations like St. Mary’s Foodbank and Feed My Starving Children. 

Younce, who attends Gilbert High School, swims competitively, participates in several skill-building camps, and volunteers for various organizations. She also serves as an ambassador for LifeSmart Education and enjoys listening to music and playing DND with friends. Once she graduates, Younce plans to pursue degrees in forensic science and forensic psychology.

Before beginning the student exchange, Gilbert Sister Cities Youth Ambassadors participate in the Gilbert Global Village Festival and receive cultural and protocol training for Northern Ireland. After returning, they participate 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 2025 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 70 high school students abroad. More information is available at

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