Every year 40+ young women and little girls participate in our six-week long Candidate Experience, where the older participants learn to present their best possible selves to become young professionals, develop their spirit of volunteerism, and serve as "big sister" mentors to the little girls. The kindergarten girls have a blast with events focused on fun and friendship in a non-competitive environment.
The program has been honored with two awards--"Vocational Service Award" from the Rotary Club of Cambridge and Isanti in 2009 for providing career education opportunities for young women in the community; and the "Golden Anchor Award" from the Minneapolis Aquatennial in 2012, for being a "first class example that supports AAO's key initiative of developing a first class leadership and training program" for young women.
Three of the young women participating in our program are selected to represent our local community of Cambridge as public relations Ambassadors, spreading a positive impression of our town at festivals across the state, supporting the efforts of local non-profits and organizations, and learning to give of themselves through a myriad of service opportunities.
The Ambassadors have approximately 100 events during their year of service. Since we are service-based, some of our recent local volunteer events included a work day at Black Dog Hill (domestic abuse shelter), Kids' Day at the Fair, Kids' events in the parks, Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing, National Night Out, Braham Pie Day, New Hope's Tough Mudder for Food Relief, New Teachers' Luncheon, Customer Appreciation, and GP & Bean 5K (raising funds to gastroparesis research), ECFE Halloween Bash, Senior Activity Center fundraiser, and Hayride 4 Food.
Other volunteer service in the metro area included Special Olympics events, Salvation Army's Backpack Giveaway, Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk, Miracle Treat Day (supporting Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare), Alzheimer's Memory Mixer, and the Pageant of Hope (for girls with special needs and challenges).
The Ambassadors are awarded with scholarships raised from our annual Ambassador Classic Golf Tournament. Our hope is to raise funds to increase the scholarships for future ambassadors, as well as raise funds to support travel expenses throughout the year.
Our program is run by dedicated volunteers/mentors, whose simple but incredibly rich reward is witnessing the amazing growth and personal development of the young women involved in the program.
We consider it a blessing and privilege to help the young women of our community grow into positive leaders as they make an incredible impact on their corner of the world!