By Denise Juarez
President, Downey Sister Cities Association
Downey Sister-Cities Association (DSCA) is one of Downey's oldest associations, started under President Dwight D. Eisenhower's "people to people program." Our organization works on learning about other cultures, customs, and furthering relationships to build bridges, not walls.
DSCA has many partners we work hand and hand with. Last year, we hosted the 2016 U.S./Mexico Sister Cities National Convention, and this year we helped the city of Pico Rivera host the 2017 national convention.
At these conventions we give awards to cities that have done exceptional work in developing ways to further enhance relationships with other countries. We also provide scholarships to youths that exemplify excellence in academics and humanitarianism.
This year's winner of the 2017 USMCSA humanitarian scholarship is Downey's very own Gordon Sodetani.
He has proven that he gives himself back to his community. He is a youth counselor with the YMCA. He is a youth and government leader, and has many other achievements. He currently carries a 4.0 at Cal State Long Beach.
Gordon has been a youth member of Downey Sister Cities Association for more than three years and, God willing, will be attending our dual Sister-Cities visitation to Guadalajara, Jalisco and Fresnillo, Zacatacas, Mexico in August.
Gordon received the scholarship at a recent City Council meeting. He also shared the night with his mother, Martha Sodetani, who received the Mayor's Healthy Heart Award.
Downey Sister Cities Association meets the third Wednesday of the month at Embassy Suites Downey at 6:30 p.m. We are currently looking for new members.