Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce accepting new Junior Ambassadors

Published 11:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2022

The Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for its Junior Ambassadors program. Students must be in grades nine through 12 and can come from any school in Chambers County, public or private. Forty students will be accepted. GVACC Executive Director Carrie Royster said about 20 have already signed up. Students don’t need any particular qualifications to enter the program.

The Junior Ambassador program is composed of nine months of classes. The curriculum changes each year. Students learn life skills such as changing oil and inexpensive but healthy ways to eat. Royster said the GVACC is currently working on the curriculum for the upcoming school year.

In recent years, the GVACC has given a $2,000 scholarship to a senior participating in the program. At this year’s recent graduation event, the scholarship was split into two $1,000 scholarships. They were given to seniors Valley High School student Hannah Beasley and Valley High School student Hazel Floyd.

Royster didn’t know if the scholarship would be split again at the next graduation ceremony.

Graduating seniors who have participated in the program all four years of high school now get cords at their graduation ceremony.

“My daughter was a senior this year, and she was actually talking to me about the different cords that she was getting, and I was like, ‘Oh, that sounds like a great idea. They should be recognized for giving their time and effort for the Junior Ambassador program,’” Royster said.

The first Junior Ambassador’s meeting for the school year will be in September, and the program will run until May.

“The Junior Ambassadors meet the first Tuesday of every month at the Chamber office at 5:30,” Royster said. “The meetings last for an hour, so from 5:30 to 6:30. And then the Junior Ambassadors are asked to participate in all the extra events the Chamber does as well as outside organizations and businesses sometimes request volunteers.”

Royster said Junior Ambassadors receive points and hours for their participation. These can make them eligible for the $2,000 scholarship, and Royster said they can use their hours to satisfy school requirements.

Students can email Royster at croyster@greatervalleyarea.com to get a link to the application form. She encourages potential ambassadors to read the Junior Ambassador handbook, which allows them to see if the program will conflict with their schedules. Royster said the application form should soon be on the GVACC website, http://greatervalleyarea.com.

Registration for the Junior Ambassador program began Monday. It will end either when 40 students have signed up or during the last week of July.

Royster said the Junior Ambassador program is over 50 years old.