For the last two years, 5-10 student representatives from Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men have had a voice in shaping the school and its surroundings.
They are members of the Youth Ambassador’s Program, and they include students selected from multiple grade levels to meet with teachers and administrators to offer their perspectives on ways to improve the school. They also represent the school at local and district events.
Students are recruited into the ambassadorship program at the beginning of each school year. Administration, faculty, ambassador coordinator Chad Segrist, and existing student ambassadors are included in the selection process.
“The Youth Ambassador’s Program is valuable because it allows students to know that their involvement in the decision-making processes, as it concerns their school, is important,” said Segrist.
The students are as involved with the process of making changes as administrators, community leaders, partners and the principal.
Changes recommended so far, involve community and environmental revitalization. This work is supported by the ambassadors combining their efforts with the Green Crusaders at FDA.
Ambassadors meet bi-weekly, where they discuss the successes and needs of their school. Segrist said all meetings are student-led.
Ultimately, the goal of the program is to equip students to have a voice in making positive changes at their school, to clearly tell the story of their school, and become leaders by mentoring new ambassadors.
Matthew Patterson, a senior, has been a student ambassador since the inception of the program. He feels that this is the type of program where you have to “put 100 percent in, to get 100 percent out.”
”I like that the ambassadorship program is student-led,” he said. “which makes those involved feel they are making a difference.”