Teens can make a difference with ambassador program

Sno-Isle Libraries has volunteer opportunities for 14- to 18-year-olds looking to make a difference in their communities.

“It’s called the ‘Teen Ambassador’ program,” said Dawn Rutherford, teen-services coordinator for the library district. “We’re looking for a variety of personalities and interests, but the common denominator will be teens who want to help and communicate with others.”

Teen ambassador posterThe program is for teens across the district, which has 21 libraries across Snohomish and Island counties. Starting in August, ambassadors would commit to volunteering at least four hours a month for the next year.

“Our goal is that ambassadors will bring more teen voices – their own and others’ – to our libraries,” Rutherford said. “Ambassadors will gain leadership and workplace skills while educating and raising awareness about library programs and resources.”

“Not only will ambassadors have an opportunity to help build connections in their community, but they’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at how the library works.”

Just how ambassadors bring those voices forward will depend on the skills and interests they bring to the job, said Rutherford, who had a similar experience when she was a teen. “Teen Ambassadors may be good writers, have social-media skills, be great at video or photography, be interested in advocacy or maybe just love movies, music and books,” she said.

For those thinking about going on to college, this kind of experience may be beneficial. According to the College Board, which sponsors the Advanced Placement (AP) program and administers the SAT and other standardized tests, extracurricular experience on an application adds information for college admissions screeners to consider.

The Teen Ambassador-program application process includes:

  • Applications due June 30, 2016.
  • Interviews in July.
  • Training in August.
  • Teen Ambassador work begins in September.

“Teen Ambassadors may report on library events, create reviews, post on social media and blogs and generally represent the library in a friendly professional manner,” Rutherford said. “Sno-Isle Libraries already has a number of ways teens can get involved, including our video bloggers, or ‘vloggers,’ and the Teen Explore Summer. Teen Ambassadors is another way for teens to make their voice heard.”