The Young Ambassadors program has been designed to give Washington DC’s young people an opportunity to venture out beyond their normal comfort zones, reinforcing their educational experiences by lifting them up and peaking their curiosity. A constant theme in the programming is “You in History,” highlighting the lives and accomplishments of ordinary people in the community. In addition to addressing issues of self-esteem, a healthy appreciation for various cultures is woven into program workshops, lectures, and excursions.
Each summer, Young Ambassadors serves 100 youth ages 14-15 years, and exposes them to tourism careers while traveling to historical sites around the region (the tourism industry is second to the government in providing jobs within the NE and SE Districts of DC). In addition, the program provides employment, employability skills, and workshops covering topics such as life skills, career exploration, leadership, resume writing, drop-out prevention, abstinence, urban geography/planning, and entrepreneurial ideas. This collaboration will allow a more scientific approach to the work that is being done, providing an opportunity to share best practices with like-minded organizations. Funding is sought to expand the capacity of community-based efforts in eliminating racial disparities and inequities, and to develop better instruments to measure and track the impact of the strategies implemented.