Tempe Sister Cities is not only about expanding students’ perspectives of the world and exploring new cultures. It’s also focused on community service, leadership skills and contributing to the community.
Beth Lang, co-coordinator of the Tempe Sister Cities Youth Group, said the organization consists of 14- to 18-year-olds who help with monthly service projects. There is no application process, and anyone in that age group who lives in Tempe can join.
“We are what you would call co-affiliated with Tempe Sister Cities,” Lang said. “We see ourselves as a major group that supports efforts for them.”
Many of the service projects involve events at Hackett House, the Tempe Sister Cities executive center, located on the southwest corner of 3rd Street and Mill Avenue.
“We tend to be called upon to serve for night functions and whatever other events are held there,” Lang said.
In addition, many of the youth-group members are former delegates of Tempe Sister Cities, who were chosen to visit one of the eight other affiliate cities around the world.
“A lot of the students who come into this group are seniors (in high school), who were selected in their junior year as Tempe ambassadors.” Lang said. “They kind of like to stay with that group, and then they come and join us.”
The youth group is comprised of various committees to help coordinate service projects for the city.
“The idea is that we are developing leadership skills for the members; they have office positions and we train them in the different areas so they actually build their own agenda and make decisions together,” Lang said.
The youth group also includes committees whose work focuses on such areas as budget and finance, community projects, social activities and membership and recruiting, she said.
The young members welcome Tempe Sister Cities delegates from the eight participating countries, even putting on a prom for them at the end of their stay, she said.
Coming soon, the youth group will help with a rummage sale at Hackett House that will benefit both Tempe Sister Cities and its affiliate youth group members , Lang said.
Residents can donate items, with the exception of clothing, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Hackett House.
The sale will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.
For more information, contact Hackett House at 480-351-8181. For information about becoming a member of the Tempe Sister Cities Youth Group, visit http://www.tempesistercities.org/other-programs/youth-group