This group of high school students is having a positive impact on relations with their school peers.
Bruin Ambassadors Take A Lead in Peer Relations
They don’t get paid for their efforts, nor do many others know all that they do to serve their school and fellow students. What these South High students do receive however, is the satisfaction of knowing they have had a lasting and positive impact upon their peers.
The junior and senior students who are members of the Bruin Ambassadors are recommended for annual participation in the group by other students and South High staff members for their enthusiasm, communication skills, outgoing personality, and an ability to represent various facets of the South High student body. There are 14 juniors and 17 seniors serving as Bruin Ambassadors for the 2017–18 school year.
One of the first duties each year for the Ambassadors is to plan welcoming activities for their South High peers as the new school year commences. This year the ambassadors have been hard at work since August 7, greeting and helping incoming freshmen and transfer students at orientation sessions to find their way around and feel comfortable in Bruin territory. More than 90% of all incoming freshmen and transfer students attend these orientation sessions, which allows the ambassadors to greet and get to know the newest South students individually.
The Bruin Ambassadors created a “welcome tunnel” at the school’s two main entrances as all students arrived for the first day of classes on August 24. High fives, hugs, and shouted greetings filled the entryways, but more importantly smiles and laughter filled the air. Several faculty members were even spotted walking out of the building only to turn right around and come back in to experience the energized welcome.
Bruin Ambassadors also wear a recognizable t-shirt for the first two days of school, so that students with questions about lockers or classroom locations or lunch room procedures can easily spot someone they can approach and get assistance from right way.
“There are many things you get out of being a Bruin Ambassador,” shared South High junior Drew Brown. He understands the long-term benefits of being a group participant. “You learn leadership skills, you learn how to role model, be helpful, and how to strive for excellence.”
The Bruin Ambassadors assist in several ways and at various events throughout the school year, including:
- welcoming all students on the first day of school
- serving as school ambassadors for new students during the first few weeks of the new school year
- visiting with transfer students and their families, including giving building tours and answering questions about “life” at South High
- escorting Hall of Fame inductees during Homecoming Week activities
- greeting guests at school functions
- serving as tour guides and panelists in the spring for incoming middle school students transitioning to South High School the coming fall
The Bruin Ambassadors are facilitated by South High counselors Laurie Schlenker and Heidi Fiechtner. “I’m really proud of this group of students. The Bruin Ambassadors help people new to our building feel at ease and that they belong here. And we all know that “belonging” is essential to thriving!” stated Schlenker.
The Bruin Ambassadors are in a unique position to provide positive peer interactions and to help establish an inclusive atmosphere at South High School – that’s a powerful legacy!