The theme for the 2021-22 Ambassador Leadership program was youth philanthropy. Research shows that when youth are afforded the opportunity to get involved in their community, children and adolescents are given the control and reassurance needed to build their self-worth (Garza & Stephens, 2002). Philanthropy gives youth the power to become valuable contributors now, and essential leaders for the future (Crestinger, 1999). Research shows that youth involved in philanthropic deeds continue to give or serve in a variety of ways as adults (Agard, 2002). Youth philanthropy programs aid teens in discovering how their diversity, leadership, and service can impact their future and the future of the communities in which they live (Sheller, 2018).
This year RMFY Middle and High School Ambassadors learned about engaging in philanthropy as they created a “Campaign for a Cause”. Working as five collaborative committees, Ambassadors effectively planned and executed an awareness campaign event on May 11 for a cause or organization of their choosing. Students showcased causes from human trafficking to mental health. These causes were on display as teams presented their findings on each issue, described how the audience can help, and then provided opportunities for guests to donate to an organization tackling each issue. Some students exuded confidence on stage while others displayed courage as they spoke in front of a crowd for the first time. This empowers students to be effective leaders both in and out of school and creates a myriad of opportunities for impactful community engagement. This program is meant to sustain positive behaviors and continue to steer students away from risky and delinquent behaviors as they continue to navigate the challenges of adolescence.
If you would like to know more about how you can get involved with our Ambassador program, or if your company would like to become a sponsor of the Ambassador program, contact Community Engagement Director, Ryan Grammatico at firstname.lastname@example.org