It was an easy choice for Kelly Wallace to take the next step and join the British Columbia Ambassador Program.
The 19-year-old Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS) graduate was Ladysmith Ambassador in 2012, and last year, she had a chance to witness Jayse Van Rooyen participate in the program.
“She just had such a good experience from the program, so she really inspired me to want to do it as well,” she said. “This program, as opposed to the Ladysmith one, takes a lot more independence. I think it’s really cool because that’s what these programs are all about, to grow and learn.”
The B.C. Ambassador Program is open to any young man or woman aged 17 to 23 who has previously held an Ambassador/Royal title in B.C. Participants have a chance to earn scholarships and bursaries to help them achieve their goals.
So far, Wallace has been preparing for the various components of the program and has been busy volunteering in the community.
She has to prepare two speeches — one on Ladysmith and one on a topic of her choice — and also prepare a talent and study for a three-hour knowledge exam. Wallace has chosen to do her speech about how society today affects young men and women and image. For her talent, she is choreographing and performing a dance.
Wallace is also busy planning fundraisers in the community, including a beverage and burger fundraiser Monday, July 22 at Cottonwood Golf Course. She plans to do a raffle and other events such as a bottle drive and car wash.
Wallace says her time as Ladysmith Ambassador was probably the best year of her life.
“It was just so much fun representing Ladysmith all over the province,” she said. “I think I really matured as a person and really figured out who I was.”
Wallace and her family moved to Ladysmith when she was 10.
She loves dance, particularly lyrical.
“It’s my No. 1 passion,” she said. “I was never professionally trained. I just started when I started high school, and I just fell head over heels with it and pretty much that was my life throughout the entire five years of high school.”
Since graduating from LSS in 2012, Wallace has been working at the Old Town Bakery, which is her sponsor for the B.C. Ambassador Program.
Wallace will be going to university to become a secondary school dance and math teacher.
“I think it was the teachers I had in high school,” she says of the inspiration for her career choice. “My dance teacher, Ms. [Chelsea] Grovum, and my math teacher, Mr. [Bob] Boyko, they were just the best of teachers. The way they inspired everyone in the class to like stuff like math I thought was very cool, and I hope to inspire people like that too some day.”
The B.C. Ambassador Program events take place Aug. 16-17 in Merritt, and Wallace says it’s an honour to represent Ladysmith.
“I really love this community and everything they stand for,” she said. “All the support they’ve shown so far, it shows the immense community involvement we have.”
From now until Aug. 17, Ladysmith residents can support Wallace by voting daily for her for the People’s Choice Award online.