United Future Leaders
What is an Ambassador?
UFL Ambassador Service-Leadership Program
The service-leadership component of the United Future Leaders program began in 2009 when the first group of student participants completed the weekly program and expressed a desire to remain connected with the organization. In response to their commitment, the UFL staff hosted frequent opportunities for continued leadership development, mentoring, relationship building and community service from 2009-2012.
Due to the continued student involvement and program success, the service-leadership component was formally identified as "UFL Ambassadors" in 2013. Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, the UFL staff worked to further expand the UFL Ambassadors program and provide more opportunities for students in grades 6-12 to feel connected and supported in their individual leadership endeavors.
The UFL Ambassador program currently offers annual service training, quarterly service events, fellowship opportunities, and professional leadership development for all participants. The student participants also developed a unique mission statement to guide their service-leadership activities with UFL and individually. The UFL staff is committed to growing the UFL Ambassador program and providing continued opportunities for these students to "take it out to the world!"
How to become a UFL Ambassador
While the majority of UFL Ambassadors started as fifth grade participants in the UFL afterschool program, youth in grades 7-12 are welcome to become involved. The only requirements for participation is a sincere interest in leadership development and commitment to serve one's community, in addition to completion of a UFL S.M.I.L.E. Training during the first year of participation. The UFL staff offer this training twice per year (spring and summer) to ensure all students are properly trained on the service framework that will be applied to all UFL Ambassador service activities. Students will also be trained on the use and benefits of completing frequent submissions to the Online Service Log System to maintain a record of all service activities completed, personally, with other organizations and through the UFL sponsored events.
Students interested in the UFL Ambassador program should contact the UFL staff to set up and informational meeting and to receive a UFL Ambassador packet.
Benefits of Participation
The UFL Ambassador program is intended to provide participants with additional opportunities for service-leadership, mentoring, and relationship building throughout their development as young leaders. The UFL staff is committed to remaining connected with students as long as they view participation as beneficial.
Training workshops and activities are intended to support students in preparation for their futures, whether that be gaining employment, applying for scholarships, and/or attending an institution of higher-education. The Online Service Log System provides a streamlined method for documenting Ambassador service work in all areas of their lives. Students may use this information to assist them in completing applications or providing documentation of service work to extracurricular organizations. In addition, the UFL S.M.I.L.E. Framework is intended to be universally applicable to all types of service. The goal of this original framework is to provide youth a specific process that promotes understanding, organization, and implementation of any service activity, while carefully evaluating the effectiveness of the work completed and the impact made on the community.
The UFL staff members are constantly brainstorming new service and mentoring activities that are attractive for our UFL Ambassadors. Trainings and workshops are an area of the UFL Ambassador program that can be easily adapted and developed to support students in their individual needs and endeavors. Any suggestions of community organizations in need of service or sessions that would be helpful to our young leaders are welcomed and appreciated.
Beneficial Partnership with the Volunteer Center of Lubbock
In addition to connections with school districts, the United Future Leaders program is always eager to establish working relationships with local non-profit agencies and organization that can assist the UFL Ambassadors in carrying out their mission. In 2013, UFL became a community partner of the Volunteer Center of Lubbock in order to provide additional resources and opportunities to our students and families. The Volunteer Center of Lubbock offers consistent and organized opportunities for leaders of all ages to serve Lubbock and the surrounding communities through their Get Connected website. The UFL staff send our Ambassadors frequent reminders, opportunities and updates for the VCL sponsored projects in order for them to become involved in additional activities outside of the UFL sponsored events.