To empower upper-grade elementary and middle school students by providing leadership skills, experiences and opportunities so they can create safe and respectful communities.
The Ambassador Program was founded in 2004 at Weaver Elementary School in Los Alamitos, California. Originally, Weaver offered a traditional student council, however this provided only a limited amount of students to serve in leadership positions. In an effort to create a more inclusive school community where more students have leadership opportunities, our Ambassador youth leadership program was created.
This youth leadership program is designed to provide a larger number of diverse students the ability to serve in various leadership capacities. In addition, program aspects are designed to support the school’s mission, classroom environment and school-wide activities and events. Although the program has core components, the sessions and activities can be adapted and customized to meet the needs of the school culture and community. General components of the program include:
During the school year, students put their youth leadership program knowledge and skills into action through various community service on-campus “jobs.” The jobs are created based on the needs of the school with school staff or parent volunteers serving as supervisors. Job orientations are conducted to review expectations, roles and responsibilities and students receive customer service training. Students are required to sign in for their shifts and attendance and job performance are monitored.
Students are required to develop a service-learning project (C.A.R.E.S. Project) that is an act of kindness that “brings a smile to someone’s face and leaves a handprint on their heart.” In addition, the Ambassador Program forges community partnerships and sponsors school-wide projects that benefit others at a local, community or global level.
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My children have been so fortunate to participate in the Ambassador program at Weaver Elementary School. Right from the very beginning when having to fill out the application, I knew it was going to be an empowering experience for them. My son and daughter, who are completely opposite in personality, both found their voice, gained confidence, and learned how to work better and more effectively with other children and adults. The program guided my children through different situations they might encounter and gave them a safe place to practice important social skills as leaders and role models for their school community. My kids are more responsible and respectful because of the Ambassador program. They are also more willing to volunteer and step up to take leadership roles when opportunities present themselves. This is an amazing program! I am so thankful that my children were able to be involved with and learn from the wonderful staff in the Ambassador program at Weaver!
– Angela B., Ambassador Parent
Our school will be celebrating our tenth year of youth leadership training with our Ambassador leadership program. This program has built a foundation of leadership, service and citizenship among our students. Hundreds of students have had the opportunity to train and practice in this inclusive environment. I love that no student is turned away from wanting to be a leader! Many thanks to Lysa Gamboa-Levy and her team for helping us to build such an amazing program on our campus.
– Erin Kominsky, National Distinguished Principal
The Ambassador Program has given the students at Springbrook the leadership opportunities to have a positive impact on our school culture, make a real difference in the community, and develop personal strengths and assets for a bright future.
– Elaine Keely, Ed.D., Principal, Springbrook Elementary School
I have been an ambassador for two years. I don’t have enough time to tell you all about ALL of the hundreds of things I have learned and experienced as an ambassador. The highlights include building on my leadership skills, becoming a better public speaker, responsibility and ownership of who I am. It is through the Ambassador Program at Weaver that allowed me to learn these things.
– Harrison R. , Ambassador
The Ambassador youth leadership program enhances my daughters’ public speaking and leadership skills as well as taking their responsibilities seriously. It also helps my daughters understand why it’s very important to get involve with community service projects.
– Rachel N. , Ambassador Parent
My daughter takes great pride in being an Ambassador. She literally shines when performing her Ambassador jobs and her self-confidence shows through.
– Jackie S., Ambassador Parent
My favorite experience was the CCEJ Breakfast because we got to represent Weaver and lead the flag ceremony.
– Brian L. , Ambassador
I am so glad my daughter was invited to join the Ambassador Program at Weaver this year. It has made her a much stronger person. She has become more aware and active in her school environment. She has learned to take on more responsibility, both in her academics but also with the jobs she must complete for the program. Best of all, she has always been a very caring person and now shows this within the community she lives and even globally. It is a sensational program!
– Lynn C., Ambassador Parent
The Ambassador program is a unique and one of a kind program that offers students the experience to build leadership skills at a young age. All students on the Weaver campus benefit from this program. Kids participating in the Ambassador program gain leadership skills, compassion, and the awareness of diversities in our school neighborhood and community. Younger students gain the experience of working with the older kids. In my classroom, the Ambassadors give my kindergarten students another opportunity to be read to. When the Ambassadors walk into my classroom, the faces of the kids they read with light up! It really is a magical thing! I was just talking with my kids today about being kind, showing respect, helping others, etc. One of my kindergarten kids said, “You mean like the ambassadors? They do kind and wonderful things. When I grow up, I want to be an Ambassador.” I think that says it all!
– Stacy S., Kindergarten Teacher
I have learned so much by helping out in the special education preschool classroom. I have learned to be patient, understanding, compassionate, and nonjudgmental. Being in the ambassador program allowed me to learn these things while doing my job.
– Max R., Ambassador