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Three outstanding Midland students have been selected to travel to Handa, Japan, in July through the City of Midland’s sister city student exchange program. Midland and Handa have a 35-year sister city relationship and one of the most successful student exchange programs in the state.
Matthew Bone, a junior at H. H. Dow High School; Brianna Tegen, a sophomore at H. H. Dow High School; and AnnMarie Moolenaar, a junior at H. H. Dow High School, have been chosen from among many Midland students who applied for the exchange. The students were selected by the City’s Sister City Committee based on their interest in the Japanese culture, demonstration of leadership and maturity, and other activities. They will stay with host families for three weeks, between the end of July and mid-August.
“I’m most impressed with the abilities and maturity of the selected students,” said committee member Dick Dolinski. “They are outstanding representatives of Midland’s youth. I’m confident that AnnMarie, Brianna, and Matthew will be wonderful ambassadors for Midland with their sister city hosts, and with the Japanese people in general.”
"Every other year, the members of the Handa-Midland Sister City Committee have the privilege and honor of interviewing high school students applying for this student exchange program,” said committee member Randi Kawakita. “The future is in such good hands with the young people we have interviewed. Although just three were selected, all the applicants were winners."
Midland students travel to Handa in the odd-numbered years, and during even-numbered years, Handa students are hosted by Midland residents.
Financial support for this exchange has been generously provided by Chemical Bank, The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Corning Corporation, Ieuter Insurance Group, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Wolverine Bank. The program is administered by the City of Midland and the Handa-Midland Sister City Committee, which includes Stephanie Baiyasi, Dick Dolinski, Ruby Iwamasa, Randi Kawakita, John Metcalf, Libby Richart, and Chair Tina S. Van Dam.
For questions or more information, contact the City Manager’s Office at 989-837-3307.