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story.lead_photo.caption Amanda Childs Social Worker

With more participants than ever, the Pea Ridge High School Blackhawk Ambassadors are gaining momentum in their efforts to create a positive student environment at school. By focusing on showing respect, developing empathy and celebrating diversity, the ambassadors work to collectively support the student body and their local community. They are tasked with being helpful, friendly faces were new and current students, as well as leaders inside and outside the classroom. Created only four years ago, with only four students, the program has grown exponentially as the students' passions for their school and community have flourished.

Volunteering and developing their leadership skills are two fundamental components of the ambassador program.

In the Folsom master, students have contributed more than 200 here hours in their community such as serving in the community garden, participating in a citywide trash pickup, and helping the Pea Ridge Fire Department with their annual pancake breakfast to honor veterans. Even with the hours already logged, the ambassadors' school involvement has just begun.

With the holiday season around the corner, the ambassadors have dedicated themselves to activities that engage Primary and Intermediate students to positive role models and lead by example. They will do this by playing games, music and spending quality time with the students they're waiting after school transportation and being a positive and friendly welcome to students coming to school.

Recently the ambassadors had the opportunity to attend a high school leadership conference at Arkansas Tech University, where they were able to strengthen their self-awareness and bolster their leadership skills. The conference is a new educational activity introduced this school year. In previous years, the students have received yearly trainings by organization such as Ozark Guidance Center and the Child Advocacy Center. These trainings serve to cultivate the students' social and emotional skills. Training topics have included: setting appropriate and healthy boundaries with peers, demonstrating empathy towards others, appropriate ways approach and respect adults, as well as addressing safe and healthy habits online and with friends. Specifically the training provided by the Child Advocacy Center common students are educated about ways to be an upstander rather than a bystander when experiencing or witnessing bullying. Ozark guidance's training included ways to demonstrate healthy communication skills and how to be aware of others' needs.

As we are still in the beginning half of this school year, the ambassadors continue to explore ways to give back to their community, continue to grow as leaders in the school, and explore their passions for the future. The experience gained during the students' time as an ambassador will lay the foundation to turn today's volunteers into tomorrow's leaders.

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Editor's note: Amanda Childs, social worker for Pea Ridge Schools, can be reached at achilds@pearidgek12.com.

Editorial on 11/28/2018

Print Headline: Today's volunteers are tomorrow's leaders

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