Long Beach to send two high school students and a teacher to its sister city Yokkaichi, Japan

Long Beach Yokkaichi Trio

Trio members (left to right) are teacher Melinda Ramsey and students Alyssa Krug and Sean Rickter.

Long Beach high school students Alyssa Krug and Sean Rickter and Melinda Ramsey, a teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District, have been selected as goodwill ambassadors to represent the City of Long Beach in its Sister City of Yokkaichi, Japan, for three weeks this summer.

They will leave July 20 and return Aug. 8. This is Long Beach’s 47th Annual Trio Cultural Exchange.

The Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association selects one male student and one female student and a teacher to accompany the students for the three-week cultural visit.

This delegation of three Long Beach ambassadors travels as a group and follows an itinerary developed by officials of Yokkaichi.

The Long Beach association pays all transportation expenses to Yokkaichi and return and the host city, Yokkaichi, or the Japanese host families, provide transportation, food and lodging in Japan.

Krug, a junior at the California Academy of Math and Science, plays basketball and volleyball and is on the yearbook’s staff. She’s a volunteer at her church, a library and a YMCA dinner program and assists her mother, who’s a teacher.

“I have always wanted to go to Japan and learn about another culture so this is a wonderful opportunity and I am very excited,” noted Krug, a Lakewood resident.

Rickter is a member of the chorus, math team and men’s cross country and track team at Long Beach Polytechnic High School where he’s a senior. Recently, he joined the school’s swimming team and in his freshman year was part of the YMCA Youth Institute.

“I feel honored and privileged to have been selected as a Trio member,” said Rickter, a Long Beach resident. “I look forward to visiting Japan for my first time and hope to bring back something significant to share with the Long Beach community.”

Ramsey, who teaches Algebra at the Jordan Freshman Academy, has been with the Long Beach Unified School District for five years. She earned a Liberal Studies degree with a Literature Depth while completing 32 upper division credits in mathematics at the University of California, Irvine. She also holds three teaching credentials.

“I am looking forward to sharing all the wonders of Japan with the students of north Long Beach as the students and I exchange the customs, commonalities and differences each culture has to offer and share with the other,” shared Ramsey, who enjoys recreational running as a hobby.

Yokkaichi, located about 20 miles from Nagoya in central Japan, is Long Beach’s sister city. Known for its production of fine tea and exquisite pottery, Yokkaichi has become a major port and industrial complex.

Trio applicants must be Long Beach residents and/or Long Beach Unified School District students and citizens of the United States, possess a record of good citizenship in school and community, have participated in school and community activities and have an interest in being an official ambassador of goodwill from Long Beach.

In addition, students should be a member of the 10th or 11th grade in the spring semester of their application and have a 3.0 grade point average or higher from the ninth grade through the first semester of the current school year.