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‘It is as much as you, Sag-inaw, Sag-inaw!’: Profession middle teenagers turn into hometown Ambassadors


Think about you’re a excessive schooler in Saginaw, and lots of of your teenage friends are expressing wishes to “get out of right here” ASAP, earlier than their grownup lives take maintain. Possibly you may have felt those self same emotions at times.

Aidan Kelley

Then you definately study of a brand new alternative through the Saginaw County Youth Ambassador Program, overseen on the Saginaw Profession Advanced by the Intermediate College District, SISD, and the Chamber of Commerce’s PartnerShift outreach with native faculties and companies.

“Our expertise helps us know our county higher and teaches us the best way to inform our story with confidence,” says Youth Ambassador Aidan Kelley of St. Charles.

Frankenmuth’s Youth Ambassador Kennedy Sutherland provides, “The primary yr of coaching centered on communication and management growth to arrange us to get the message throughout to our friends.”

It is a three-year management growth program that college students apply for with the endorsement of their native districts. As much as two college students per district could also be chosen.

Kennedy Sutherland

Yr one consists of self-awareness, management growth, social accountability, and efficient communication expertise, together with Dale Carnegie coaching.

The second yr is a “junior management Saginaw” expertise, serving to college students to study their residence group.

Yr three is the “ambassador yr,” whereby college students will tackle a management position in making use of all they’ve discovered to assist promote Saginaw County to their friends as an incredible place to dwell, work, and play.

Twenty-four college students have taken up this dedication as the primary Youth Ambassador Cohort, and so they haven’t backed down within the face of occasional skepticism, even sarcasm.

Various views

All 12 of Saginaw County’s native college districts have pupil participation — Birch Run, Bridgeport, Carrollton, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Freeland, Hemlock, Merrill, Saginaw Metropolis, Saginaw Township, St. Charles and Swan Valley.

College students within the Youth Ambassador Program meet month-to-month to develop their management expertise and information of Saginaw County. Whether or not assembly on the Saginaw ISD, the Saginaw Profession Advanced (previously COC, Profession Alternatives Heart, a successor to what old-timers might recall because the previous Arthur Hill Tech), or typically offsite at varied Saginaw service organizations, public providers, companies, and factors of curiosity

It’s by no means straightforward when the message so typically should fight stereotypes and adverse exaggerations concerning Rust Belt, deserted neighborhoods, perceptions of nothing to do, no jobs, no tradition, and crime.

That’s why the SISD’s Jenny Geno, government director of profession and technical schooling, and Tina Bacigalupo, profession counselor marketing consultant and program coordinator, have made certain the enrollees acquired loads of prep time for his or her roles within the first-time enterprise.

Some college students are the merchandise of Saginaw-born mother and father and even grandparents, which makes them considerably extra connected with a stronger need to stay. All say they’ve discovered a lot extra about Saginaw County and it’s native historical past with area journeys to an array of places, with help from Saginaw ISD Coordinator of Enterprise Partnerships, Ann Marie Batkoski

Websites have included Hoyt Library, the Fortress Museum of Saginaw County Historical past, SVRC Market, the Dow Occasion Heart, Pit and Balcony, SVSU’s Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum, the Saginaw County Courthouse and Jail, MMR, the Saginaw Police Division, United Means of Saginaw County, the READ Affiliation, Saginaw’s Eastside Soup Kitchen, the Youth Safety Council, Native 85 Coaching Heart, Saginaw Valley State College, Saginaw’s Downtown Delta Faculty Campus and Firefigters Coaching Heart.

Native companies which have enlisted are Amigo Mobility, Star of the West, and the Bavarian Inn. College students additionally attended a high-adventure management and team-building day on the GASC Base Camp in Genesee County.

“Connecting the Youth Ambassadors with group mentors from the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce’s Younger Skilled’s Community is a necessary a part of the imaginative and prescient,” Geno says, providing due to mentors Steve Hensley (Saginaw County Chamber), Zach Moulton (RWS Monetary Group), Mitch Piper (Braun Kendrick), Kyle Dewees (Valley Lutheran Excessive College), Julie Tacktor (Cumulus Media), and Amy Pitts (Gohm Insurance coverage Restoration).

Program companions are additionally influential mentors to the Youth Ambassadors, together with Wendy Groll (Dale Carnegie), Jordan Thieme (Amigo Mobility), Samantha Jones (Partnershift Community), Dennis Barlow (Saginaw ISD), Ann Marie Batkoski (Saginaw ISD), Susan Moody (Wildfire Credit score Union), Veronica Horn (Saginaw County Chamber), and Phil Eich (Founding father of Storyville Social — Full Steam Media), in addition to the various inspirational group and enterprise leaders who’ve graciously hosted the scholars this yr.

Shy? A Dale Carnegie outlook

Every pupil acquired a startup scholarship for a three-day Dale Carnegie Teen Program, which provides “the chance to study and develop sought-after management expertise by a singular, complete program designed to arrange them for selling group providers and the various advantages of dwelling in Saginaw.”

“My confidence has grown tremendously,” Aidan says, referring to the general public talking emphasis for which Dale Carnegie coaching is greatest identified.

After two years with new countywide classmates, heading for the climactic third, Kennedy explains, “We’ve actually grown individually and as a staff – we’ve turn into extra like brothers and sisters.”

The Youth Ambassadors will meet with mentors all through the summer time as they put together their Saginaw County promotional marketing campaign in Fall 2022.

Bacigalupo shared, “We’re so very happy with this primary cohort of Youth Ambassadors as they’ve already begun making a distinction for his or her friends in Saginaw County. They’re utilizing their voices to advocate for extra psychological well being schooling and psychological well being useful resource accessibility in faculties. They’re really obsessed with serving to others dwell their greatest life – proper right here in Saginaw County!”

Following is a listing of the primary Cohort of Saginaw County Youth Ambassadors, presently highschool juniors, who seek advice from themselves as Workforce FIBO, “First In and Finest Out.”

  • Kennedy Aldrich and Owen Quinnan, Birch Run Excessive College
  • A’yanna Trice, Bridgeport Excessive College
  • Courtney Ayotte and Kennedy Campos, Carrollton Excessive College
  • Bryn Mahoney and Emily Smith, Chesaning Excessive College
  • Mia Fahrenbruch and Kennedy Sutherland, Frankenmuth Excessive College
  • Jonathan Leiter and Alexis Ritter, Freeland Excessive College
  • Kahl Mallek and Luke Premo, Hemlock Excessive College
  • Mason Ordway, Merrill Excessive College
  • Aidan Kelley and Laina Harger, St. Charles Excessive College
  • Tornarus Johnson, Saginaw Excessive College
  • Lionel Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill Excessive College
  • Demiyah Barlow, Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
  • Zori Rasco and ChristGiles Yarn, Saginaw Township Heritage Excessive College
  • Jackson Beery and Matthew McKim, Swan Valley Excessive College



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