A delegation of 16 junior high and high school students departed Monday for an eight-day Junior Ambassador Exchange trip to Musashino City, Japan, a suburb of Tokyo with an estimated population of 136,000.
"It is a unique opportunity for the students to learn about the Japanese culture first hand," said Brooke Witcher, events coordinator for the City of Lubbock.
For the last 20 years, the City of Lubbock and area school districts have sponsored a trip to Japan. Students are selected through a competitive process and must have completed seventh, eight or ninth grade. Participants meet weekly for six months prior to the trip to learn about the Japanese language, culture and customs.
This year's delegation is led by District 2 City Councilman Floyd Price. Previous council members who participated in the program include Phyllis Jones, Marc McDougal, Frank Morrison, T.J. Patterson and David Nelson. City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld is also accompanying the group.
More than $30,000 in private donations and funding were received to support the trip. The Lubbock Independent School District and City of Lubbock have each contributed approximately $5,000.
"Parents, teachers and local businesses are extremely supportive of the program," said Dumbauld. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for students to gain a better understanding of the social, political, and economic aspects of Japan and will increase their global competitiveness in the job market."
The following students are members of the delegation:
A Japanese student delegation plans to visit Lubbock, July 24 through 30.
The purpose of the Junior Ambassador program is to foster the development of friendship, understanding, and education through International Ambassador Exchange.
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