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✈ Future-Ready Cities, Gilbert's Student Exchange, Photogenic Farms, and More!

Issue #23 - October 18, 2023

In this Gilbert Thrive Issue…

Future-Ready Cities: Which U.S. Cities Are Shaping the Future Today?

✈ Be a Global Ambassador: Join Gilbert's Student Exchange Program

💸 Higley School District Expense Vouchers Get Green Light Despite Board Member's Opposition

🥛 Sip, Smile, and Savor: Boba Crash Adds a Splash of Fun to Gilbert's Beverage Scene

☕ Coffee Break

📷 Step into a World of Creativity: Charming Farm Photography's Unique Portrait Experience in Gilbert

🎈 Discover Local Events Coming Soon

And more…

Future-Ready Cities: Which U.S. Cities Are Shaping the Future Today?

As the world enters a new age of urban development, some major U.S. cities are emerging as leaders in innovation and future readiness. To identify these cities, Point2 analyzed the 100 largest U.S. cities across five key categories.

Five Spheres of Future Readiness:

  • Business & Technology: California cities excel here, with San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco leading in patents and startups.

  • Internet Connectivity: Surprisingly, Sacramento, CA, and Texas cities Plano and Garland rank highest due to internet access and mobile broadband coverage.

  • Environment & Sustainability: Seattle, Sacramento, and San Diego shine in sustainability with electric stations and green-certified buildings.

  • Transit & Mobility: Cities like Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Seattle offer easy bike-sharing programs, while Atlanta sees significant air travel.

  • Economy & Demographics: Cities like Arlington, VA, Fremont, CA, and Gilbert, AZ, boast high median incomes, low unemployment, and diverse populations.

Top Future-Ready Cities:

  1. Seattle, WA: Leading in startups, invention patents, and more, Seattle is setting the bar for the future.

  2. San Jose, CA: Silicon Valley's tech hub is second, focusing on urban planning and housing.

  3. Denver, CO: As an aerospace hub, Denver tackles housing costs and sustainability.

  4. San Diego, CA: Known for its green initiatives and tech job opportunities.

  5. Austin, TX: A growing tech scene and economic diversity contribute to its future readiness.

Innovation and future readiness vary across the U.S., with cities in California leading the way in business and technology. The National Science Foundation also supports this innovation, awarding California over $1 billion in 2022, doubling what New York received.

Be a Global Ambassador: Join Gilbert's Student Exchange Program

Become a Gilbert Sister Cities Youth Ambassador and experience the world! This program offers students a chance to make friends, learn new languages, and enhance their college applications.

To apply, you must be a US citizen, live in Gilbert or Higley, and be a junior in high school. There's a $25 application fee, and families must cover the costs of hosting an international student.

If you don't have a passport, your family will need to get one. If selected, you'll host a student in June 2024 and travel abroad in July, returning before school starts. The application deadline is October 20th, 2023.

Higley School District Expense Vouchers Get Green Light Despite Board Member's Opposition

The Higley Unified School District Governing Board recently approved staff expense vouchers, but Board Member Anna Van Hoek raised questions about some items.

Despite her concerns, the board voted 4-1 in favor, with Van Hoek dissenting. One voucher in question was for PebbleGo, a learning tool from Capstone. Van Hoek worried about students being exposed to inappropriate content, but district officials explained that it's used under teacher supervision, and parents are informed about the content.

Van Hoek also had questions about vouchers for Learning A to Z’s Raz-Plus, GoGuardian, and Kaplan Discipline e-DECA, with district officials clarifying their uses.

Sip, Smile, and Savor: Boba Crash Adds a Splash of Fun to Gilbert's Beverage Scene

Gilbert's new family-owned hotspot, Boba Crash, is serving up boba tea, coffee, and delicious eats. Named in honor of their late dog, Crash, the owners wanted to create a fun and family-friendly space.

With a deep love for boba, they've carefully researched ingredients to craft top-quality, refreshing beverages.

Boba tea, originating in Taiwan in the 1980s, combines milk tea with black tapioca balls, gaining immense popularity, particularly with students. Boba Crash is more than just a tea shop; it's a community hub where people can enjoy a delightful twist on a beloved drink.

Check them out: https://bobacrash.com

Step into a World of Creativity: Charming Farm Photography's Unique Portrait Experience in Gilbert

In the heart of Gilbert, Arizona, where city life meets country charm, a unique photography experience awaits at Charming Farm Photography. This enchanting establishment, located at 575 E Guadalupe Rd, has become a beloved destination for families, couples, and individuals looking to freeze their most treasured moments in time.

A Vision Turned Reality

Behind this charming business is the passionate owner and photographer, Stephanie Bowen. Stephanie's journey into photography began as a profound appreciation for preserving life's fleeting moments, especially once she became a parent. It was this personal connection to the art of photography that led her to establish Charming Farm Photography.

After a year and a half of dedicated renovation, Charming Farm Photography was born. The beautiful backdrop that Stephanie envisioned is now a reality, featuring an old farmhouse with over an acre of land, mature trees, an inviting front porch, and stunning sunset views. Stephanie has transformed this space into a captivating canvas for capturing the essence of her clients' lives.

A Photographic Wonderland

What sets Charming Farm Photography apart is the farm's whimsical and versatile design. It boasts 15 unique stations that change with the seasons and holidays, offering a stunning array of backdrops for photo sessions. From playful props to decorative bouquets, the farm provides unlimited creative elements to enhance each image. One visit can yield photos that appear as if you've visited a dozen different locations, thanks to Stephanie's dedication to detail.

Charming Farm Photography is committed to the personalization of each session, welcoming clients' thoughts and suggestions to craft a truly bespoke experience. Your vision, combined with Stephanie's artistry, comes to life in every frame.

Giving Back to the Community

Beyond capturing cherished moments, Charming Farm Photography is deeply engaged with the community. The business recently partnered with JDRF, the leading global organization funding Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) research. Stephanie's daughter's T1D diagnosis in 2020 inspired her to give back. As a result, they are contributing to JDRF's silent auction at the Promise Ball Gala on October 28, offering two special packages to families affected by T1D.

Embracing the Beauty of Fall

With the arrival of autumn, the charming farm is opening its doors to outdoor sessions. Take advantage of the changing leaves, cooler weather attire, and the picturesque sunsets. They are now offering a 10% discount on your first booking of Fall Photos, making it the perfect opportunity for Christmas cards, updated family portraits, or engagement and graduation announcements.

Contact Stephanie Bowen, the passionate photographer behind Charming Farm Photography, at [email protected] or (480) 206-1772, and visit their website at www.charmingfarmphotography.com to book your session while slots are available.

To stay updated and inspired, connect with them on social media:

At Charming Farm Photography, every picture tells a unique story. Don't miss the chance to capture your own.

We Want to Spotlight Your Business!

Would you like us to spotlight your local business in front of thousands of Gilbert area residents in an upcoming issue of Gilbert Thrive?

We ❤️ Local Businesses!
We know our community is brimming with businesses that have fascinating stories and big hearts. If you're a local business owner making waves, crafting unique experiences, or simply putting a smile on our faces, we want to chat with you! Gilbert Thrive is eager to shine a light on the unsung heroes of our town. Let's collaborate and let the community know what makes your business special. Send us a message, and let's celebrate the spirit of Gilbert together!

👇 Select an option below:

Ongoing Events

Upcoming Events

Add Verde Canyon Railroad ’s Fright Night to your list of things to do this fall!

👻 You can find this stationed at the Clarkdale Depot until October 31. Who wants to go? (only 2 hours from Phoenix)

Know of an upcoming event we should know about?  Let us know!

We could use your help

We’ve got big plans as we get up to speed! But we need your help!

One huge way that you can help us is to spread the word for us.

Know somebody who lives in the Gilbert Area and would benefit from being kept in the know?

Please share Gilbert Thrive with them! It’s simple! 👇👇👇


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