A few months ago, I realized that Ayasa (a new student who became a good friend of mine) was the daughter of one of the parents we were showing around. I never realized this. I was wondering one day why I seemed to have heard her name somewhere and I asked Caycee (another close friend) if she remembered our first student ambassador tour, and she was also surprised. I think this is really great how we were able to become friends with a family we toured, although Ayasa was not there for the tour, I still felt like we made some kind of connection with her which pulled us close when she started school at YIS in the second semester. It was amazing how I became close friends with her, student ambassador is not just a great opportunity for me to be part of a leadership role but also to meet new people. During this, I felt honored to be representing the school, but also nervous because I wanted to leave a good impression on the families. It was also really nice to hear when she said that her parents still remembered us and were thankful for the tour which helped them make the final decision. This was also when I realized how important this role was.
My next tour was on March 22nd.
This time I showed a family from South Africa, whose daughter was deciding to enroll in our grade for the new school year. During this tour, the new student came too, so I had the opportunity to talk to her about the school life and answer some of her questions. Of course, the new student was shy at first but I was able to start a conversation which not only leads to us knowing more about each other but also sharing our very different school life. When I asked her about what activities she was interested in, I found out that she was thinking about joining cross country, which made me very excited because this is one of my favorite activities. Although, she wasn’t quite sure at first because she was a bit worried about her ability and how the activity works. I encouraged her to try out the activity and shared my own experience with her, in the end, she seemed certain about joining the activity and was very excited.
Overall, being part of the student ambassador was an honor especially when the new students and their family still recognizes you afterward. This was an important role because as a student whose been in YIS for many years, my actions reflect the school. In my experiences as part of student ambassador, I believe I was very successful, and I was able to see this when the new students came.
Lastly, here is a summary of some things I thought were important during the experience of student ambassador as a leadership role:
Being confident in leading. I had to be quick to respond to questions, looked people in the eye, shook hands, spoke loudly and clearly, and was well informed about where we had been, what we were learning, and where we were headed. Also being comfortable when talking with students outside of my grade-level.
Having real purpose and tasks. I had in mind already a list of different places around the school and pieces of information that I wanted to cover in the tour. As a student who has been in the school for many years, I thought it was important to share my personal experiences as a guide.
Students had autonomy and voice. As a student, we lead the tours, there was no teacher with us so we also had to be leaders of not only other people but also of ourselves.
Throughout the experience, I realized I was working on academic goals. Presentation skills (speaking, listening, and facilitating).
I was also working on personal goals. I have always been working to improve in speech so I decided that public speaking to new people would be a good way for me to practice.