Valley High School student earns Junior Ambassador of the Year honors

Published 9:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2022

On Wednesday afternoon, students in the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce’s Junior Ambassador’s program, as well as their family members, gathered at Pokey’s 8th Street Grill in West Point for an award ceremony followed by dinner paid for by the GVACC to honor the students’ participation in the program.

GVACC Executive Director Carrie Royster introduced herself and GVACC Administrative Assistant Tarin Parrish, who would be working together to hand out awards.

Royster announced that Junior Ambassadors with cords hanging around their necks had served in the program in grades nine through 12.

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“I think the kids are excited about it,” she said. “I told them there is gray and there’s silver, and I love the colors.”

Before announcing the Junior Ambassador of the Year and two scholarship recipients, Royster and Parrish handed out 2021-2022 participation certificates. Royster called the following students to receive their certificates, although not all were present: Ciara Crim, Ella Powers, Emily Jo Matthews, Emrald Wilkins, Garrison Brown, Hamin Kim, Hannah Beasley, Hazel Floyd, Jamie Clark, Jeff Le, Jesilyn Mabrey, Kateley Walden, Kayla Ingles, Kaylyn Keebler, Kenadie Oliver, Keziyah Morgan, Kristann Carter, Kyle Lee, MaKenzie Finley, Madyson Peterson, Maggie Rennie, Meredith Crawley, Michelle Chen, Nykira Jackson, Russiah Cheeks, Shakya Story, Tijah Presley, Treanna Bridges, Trestin Garrett and Tyane Anthony.

Royster announced that the 2021-2022 Ambassador of the Year was Valley High School student Madyson Peterson, who received a certificate and a 14-inch HP touchscreen laptop paid for by 4 Seasons Heating & Air. According to Royster, the Ambassador of the Year is selected based on points they accumulated throughout the program by attending meetings and putting in service hours.

Royster said that three years ago, when she took on her current position within the GVACC, she put in place a $2,000 scholarship for a senior Junior Ambassador. She said that this year, board members from the GVACC decided to split it into two $1,000 scholarships. The board interviewed six scholarship contestants to decide who would get the scholarships. According to Royster, they were evaluated based on volunteer hours and leadership.

The first scholarship recipient was Valley High School student Hannah Beasley, and the second recipient was Valley High School student Hazel Floyd. Each received a certificate.

“Thank you all for giving me your kids,” Royster told those in attendance. “I hope that they learned something throughout the nine months that we had them. I’m looking forward to scheduling all the great things that we’re going to do next year.”

Royster said the Junior Ambassadors program has had 40 Junior Ambassadors for the past two years. She had to cap the number at 40 due to spacing issues.

“I’m going to open up the registration probably in the next two weeks,” Royster said. “So I’ll put out a Facebook post and all that good stuff when I do that to make sure you jump in because I do have to cap it at 40.”

The Junior Ambassador program is for students in grades nine through 12. Royster urged audience members who knew soon-to-be ninth-graders to let them know about the program.