Self-confidence, leadership skills, new friendships and an appreciation for their community are just some of the big things youth get out of the Ladysmith Ambassadors program.
That’s what the 2013-14 Ambassador team told Ladysmith council May 6 during their first official outing as Ambassadors.
Cheri Mactier, a member of the Ladysmith Ambassador Committee, thanked council for its support of the Ambassador program and introduced Ambassador Kristy DeClark and Vice-Ambassadors Kira Mauriks and Sydney Jordan.
“I think it’s a very important program for these young women, and it helps to build their self-esteem and inspire self-confidence in them,” she said.
The Ambassador program is a leadership program for young women in grades 11 and 12, and it encourages volunteering and public speaking, explained Mauriks.
“There are a number of volunteer opportunities we have in the community that we do throughout the year, as well as going through a Toastmasters program, which is an eight-week program where we prepare a speech that we present at Speech and Talent Night,” she said.
Jordan told council about the many benefits of going through the program.
“We all made new friendships, and the program allowed us to come out of our comfort zones and try new things we never thought we could do or would do, especially in front of an audience,” she said. “I believe every candidate comes out of the program with a newfound confidence in themselves. The program is a lot of hard work, but the accomplishments outweigh anything. It is an experience we will never forget.”
The new Ambassadors will now travel across the province to represent Ladysmith and invite people to our town’s festivals and events, and DeClark is eager to promote the community.
“This summer, we’re very excited to be able to travel around British Columbia representing Ladysmith and sharing what our beautiful town is to other communities throughout B.C. that often don’t know what Ladysmith is, and I think it’s a town that everybody should know about,” she said.
Kelly Wallace, the 2012-13 Ambassador, also spoke to council, telling councillors that she is currently running as a candidate in the BC Ambassador program.
“The British Columbia Ambassador program is a wonderful program much like the Ladysmith one, promoting self-esteem in youth, forging links between communities in British Columbia, nurturing provincial leaders and providing aid for post-secondary education,” said Wallace, who graduated from Ladysmith Secondary School last year. “My goal for the British Columbia Ambassador program is really to show everyone who is there just how incredible this town is and how much it has to offer everyone.”