Herren Project’s 2020-2021 Youth Ambassadors
By Izzy B, the Youth Engagement Specialist
In September of 2020, Herren Project launched its first Youth Ambassador program. This youth-driven initiative is an outreach initiative that aims to reach young people who are passionate about living a healthy, fulfilling life, substance-free, and encourages their peers to do so as well. The program has been integral in connecting with youth across the country, fostering an authentic, empowering, and inspiring atmosphere in the pursuit to prevent substance use disorder. The 16 individuals chosen have been incredible role models who are passionate and dedicated to the mission of Herren Project and the cause.
It has been an honor to walk alongside these young, passionate students. I have watched them emerge as young leaders at a national level and in their community, eager to make a difference and spread Herren Project’s mission and work.
This year’s ambassadors were integral in creating our youth Instagram— BE YOU(th). They helped generate content, including blogs and vlogs. They did Instagram take-overs and encouraged their peers to follow the page. These students also were important in the future of this program— they provided me ongoing feedback on how to better the program, including new additions to add for this upcoming program year. Ambassadors came to monthly meetings, participated in Wellness Week with Herren, were interviewed on the Purple Couch, and continued to work together virtually. Some of our students also participated in the yearly evaluation of Herren Project Clubs and sat on our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access Committee. Through it all, our youth ambassadors did all of this from home and managed to remain dedicated to the program’s mission. That is what has truly inspired me to ensure there is a student space in Herren Project for young people who are equally as committed to supporting, inspiring, and empowering individuals as we are.
This year, I am so excited for some of these students to meet in person finally, have in-person student leadership opportunities, and more. We have added a Leadership Board, new activities, and leadership opportunities for our student leaders to spread Herren Project’s mission and support, inspire and empower individuals across the country. Through Passion Projects, conference opportunities, leadership training, and being Youth Leaders at our 2022 Youth Conference, I am eager to see what this year has in store for our upcoming Youth Ambassadors and Executive Board Members!