From left: 2016 MASCA Host Ambassador Mitchell Saisho, 2016 MASCA Student Ambassadors Lily Perales and Astrid Herrera, 2016 Ashiya Student Ambassadors Yurie Saji and Mana Yamazaki at the Sayonara Party last August. (Courtesy of Michael Okamura)
MONTEBELLO — The 2017 Student Ambassador Program application is now available at Montebello City Hall, City Clerk Administration Offices, 1600 W. Beverly Blvd., and from area local high schools.
The completed application can be delivered to the City Clerk’s Office, or mail to: P.O. Box 633, Montebello, CA 90640 before 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 16.
The Montebello-Ashiya Sister City Association (MASCA) seeks full-time students between the ages of 16 and 21 who want to learn the Japanese culture with host families in Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture for three weeks during July-August.
Three ambassadors will be selected: two student ambassadors who will travel to Japan and another who will remain in Montebello to host the two Ashiya student ambassadors while they are in the city for three weeks.
Each applicant must reside in Montebello and be enthusiastic, sincere, friendly, cooperative and considerate. Applicants do not need to attend a Montebello Unified School District school or have Japanese language knowledge.
MASCA supports the Student Ambassador Program with membership dues, fundraising activities and donations, which covers the costs of the two students’ airfare to Japan and some of the expenses of the six host families in Montebello.
In 1961, Montebello and Ashiya signed an international agreement as part of the “People to People Student Ambassador Program” initiated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Their respective sister-city organizations created the Student Ambassador Program in 1964 and have been exchanging two high school or college students every summer.
MASCA is a nonprofit community organization. For more information, visit http://montebellosistercity.wixsite.com/classic-layout or contact Michael Okamura at (626) 840-8409.