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Since no one knows better how to help students navigate through the College of Marin campus, its many administrative offices and myriad of resources than students themselves, the Student Ambassador program makes sure new and returning students always find a friendly and knowledgeable peer onsite.
“We’re the connectors,” says Tsedal “Sadie” Agidew, a behavioral science and child development major who has been helping students find their way to new on-campus services since last summer. “Everyone’s there to help the students and everyone puts in 100 percent. It’s awesome to be able to encourage students to pursue a higher education whether it’s getting a degree or a certificate.”
For Sadie, however, it’s not just outreach. “I believe in in-reach,” she says. “Helping students who are already there as well is a big thing for me as a student ambassador.”
Located at the Outreach Office near the Financial Aid and Counseling offices, student ambassadors field questions about registration, how to use the online registration software and share strategies to help others benefit from support systems on campus.
As community liaisons, the ambassadors also participate in important outreach efforts at local elementary, middle and high schools; they attend college fairs and lead tours and assist with on-campus activities such as Saturday Services, International Students Orientation, Job Fair, Transfer Day, Peer Summit and other events.
“They’ve had to walk this themselves,” says Interim Outreach and School Relations Coordinator Anna Pilloton. “They can show them. They are wonderful role models of the College of Marin.” Founded five years ago, the Student Ambassador Program is a way students can serve as the face of the campus. “The greatest value that any kind of student ambassador provides is they speak with such an authentic voice. They are the people with the greatest credibility.”
The campus usually has three to four student ambassadors on staff. They get to practice their communication and leadership skills and they do their homework, reading up on college history and current events related to the college so they can provide an informed insider’s view of the college.
“Lots of kids don’t think college is an option for them,” says Juliann Tumamait, a student ambassador who is studying psychology. “That’s my main goal: to tell them it is an option.”
In addition to Sadie and Juliann, Brian Santa Cruz and Gina Compagno also work as student ambassadors. The four students represent a wide range of interests. “All are goal-oriented, driven, motivated individuals and they’re going to make a difference,” Pilloton says. “We’re always on the lookout for great candidates.”
“At COM, I found what I needed…this combination of qualities essentially gave me the edge to advance successfully with my all courses and opened up doors never imagined,” said Brian Santa Cruz, a COM Student Ambassador.
For more information about the Student Ambassador Program, visit www.marin.edu/departments/outreach/index.htm
This article appeared in the College of Marin Class Schedule.