Students are powerful advocates for resources and information to reinforce a college and career mindset for their peers. RGV LEAD Ambassadors, which began in 2014, provides a framework to empower Rio Grande Valley (The Valley) students to spread the word to their peers about college readiness and career choices.
The RGV LEAD Student Ambassadors program is helping with the development of the region’s future leaders. The program brings teams of high school students together to develop their leadership skills, learn more about labor market information, and take their knowledge and skills back to their high schools to encourage college-and-career readiness among their peers. Participation in the Ambassadors program has expanded rapidly, with high school students working together in teams. Among other activities, these student leaders participate in leadership-development events designed by RGV LEAD and featuring Valley business leaders. Once each year, with RGV LEAD’s guidance and support, Student Ambassador teams plan and implement a Young Leaders’ Summit in which high school students from throughout the region can participate.
There are many benefits to running an RGV LEAD Ambassador program at The Valley schools.
- Students develop and flex their skills in leadership, public speaking, organization, collaboration (with both peers and adults), and service to others.
- Educators build and strengthen their college access efforts with direct student input.
- Students and educators help more students at their school learn about the chance to earn scholarships for taking essential steps in the college planning process.
- Students serve as regional ambassadors who plan and conduct leadership, college, and career readiness initiatives for their peers.
Oneida, V. Molina, La Feria High School Ambassador
“I have learned a lot from RGV LEAD in so many different aspects. I plan to go into the medical field after high school. It is a field-based on teamwork and communication; because of this, I joined RGV LEAD to gain experience and prepare in these areas. I am happy to say that RGV LEAD has surpassed my expectations and has given me insight into skills and networking that will benefit me in the future. RGV LEAD conferences and summits provide students with fundamental leadership skills required for success. Thank you!”
Renee Huddleston, Pioneer CTE Counselor, Sharyland ISD
“The COVID pandemic did bring various changes to how the RGV LEAD Ambassadors carried out their activities; however, they did not allow the situation to keep them from carrying out their goals for the year. They used their leadership skills to create various social media accounts such as Instagram and TIK TOKS to help encourage students to join CTE classes and organizations. Other activities included a virtual mentor program, virtual CTE tours to elementary students, and district leadership workshops. Despite the pandemic, Ambassadors were able to find ways to build on their leadership development.”
For the 2021-22 school, the program will continue to allow students to participate virtually. As the number of COVID cases goes up, RGV LEAD wants to ensure the safety of the students. All events will be held almost through the end of 2021. RGV LEAD will revisit the format of events in 2022.