Youth ambassadors committed ‘heart and soul’ to service projectsAug 29, 2017 10:55AM ● By Jana Klopsch
The Midvale City Youth Ambassadors from 2016-2017 listen to Mayor JoAnn Seghini as they were recognized for the service work they provided. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
Ashley Jimenez wanted to help Latina and Latino youth in Midvale graduate high school and attend college.
She created a diversity college night where representatives from three different colleges and various organizations could come and interact with these students.
Jimenez did it as a Midvale City Youth Ambassador.
“It was so much fun, if only you guys could see, I saw so many kids change,” Jimenez told the crowd as she was recognized, along with three other ambassadors, for their work during the past year.
As part of the Midvale Youth Ambassador program, the Midvale Arts Council recognized the departing youth ambassadors and presented the four new ambassadors who will take on the mantle for 2017-2018.
Emalee Egelund, Elisha Gillis, Morgan Sharp and Jimenez—all of whom recently graduated from Hillcrest High—were named ambassadors a year prior.
The program is a leadership scholarship for young adults rewarding students’ academic prowess and community involvement enabling them to positively affect the community. Ambassadors spend the year influencing the Midvale area both through city events and a service project or program.
While Jimenez, who has Columbian heritage, aimed to help fellow Latina students make it to college for her program, others, such as Sharp, collected donations for the Midvale-based The Road Home.
Sharp brought games and toys to the children at The Road Home. Gillis went into fifth-grade classes to discuss healthy lifestyles, helping the students make goals for themselves.
“They were committed, heart and soul, to help the population they had targeted, and they did it with great dignity,” Seghini said. “They changed their own lives and the lives of everyone that they touched.”
While the previous class of youth ambassadors were recognized, the four new ambassadors—all entering their senior year at Hillcrest—were presented where they shared their plans for the coming year.
Lauren Cecchini said she hoped to get youth more involved in charitable work and Justin Canals plans to assist high school athletes get into college by getting proper grades and understanding the eligibility process.
Alan Andrade was inspired by a trip he made to the Midvale Museum where Bill Miller, president of the Midvale Historical Society, showed him how Midvale transitioned from a small settlement to an urban city.
Andrade, who was urged into the program by Jimenez, said he plans to host a day at the museum to demonstrate the city’s evolution in addition to holding a car show and teaching the proper use of metal detectors by the Utah Treasure Association.
“The way this will help our city is show the historical significance of Midvale,” Andrade said before later adding, “I’m honored to be representing Midvale as a youth ambassador.”
AnnaMarie Dallimore plans to be a pediatric nurse after college. She said her service program intends to bring “support, knowledge and help” for already existing programs KidsEat! and the Hope Clinic.
KidsEat! provides backpacks of food for children to take home on the weekend serving many in the Midvale region. Backpacks are made up of sustenance for each meal of the day.
Hope Clinic is a free medical facility that aims to serve those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to find assistance. Dallimore plans to collect donations for their hygiene kits like shampoos or soaps.
“It warms my heart to fill this need,” she said.
Jimenez, who will be attending Utah State this fall, was effusive in her praise for the program leaving a final message for the youth in the audience.
“The ambassadorship helps kids so much. I’m looking at you kids, go do it,” she said.