The Quesnel Observer met with Quesnel Ambassador Leadership Program’s ambassadors and candidates through a virtual meeting to learn more about them and their experiences with the program.
The Quesnel Ambassador Leadership Program is designed to help give youth in the community the skills and confidence to achieve their goals, while representing Quesnel in a positive manner.
The primary goal of the self-development program is to build leadership skills and improve public speaking skills, while becoming more active in Quesnel’s festivals and events, according to the program’s website.
During the six-month program, candidates write and perform expressive speeches, learn financial management, are given lessons and opportunities to demonstrate appropriate social etiquette and become immersed in many volunteer opportunities.
The Quesnel Observer asked each of the ambassadors and candidates to share a bit about themselves, their personal experience with the program, the skills they have learned and whether they would recommend it to other youth in the community. Here is what they had to say:
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Nicole Proudfoot.
My name is Nicole Proudfoot and I am sponsored by the West Quesnel Business Association I am also a grade 10 student at Correlieu Secondary School. I joined the program is because I always wanted to do more in my community and I wanted to be a little bit better at public speaking because I’m a very shy person so I really wanted to join and take the opportunity to open myself up and the program definitely helped.
The program has definitely meant a lot to me and helped me with my anxiety around speaking in front of people because it’s a big supportive group of girls and they are definitely passionate about the community just like I am.
I have to say my favourite memory was the first event I went to, the Hearts Gala down at the seniors centre, it was my first community event and I had a lot of fun.
I would definitely recommend it all the girls are super nice and supportive and I definitely found it to be so much fun because you learn how to write speeches, you learn about different places in the community that you might never even think of. I didn’t even know that Quesnel had a council room and now I do, you learn so much about the community with a great group of girls and you all become best friends.
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Preety Johal.
My name is Preety Johal, I am 16 years old and my sponsor is Rona Building Supplies. I joined the program because I feel like you gain a lot of confidence from this program, it helps you learn in areas where sometimes school might not help you. I learned how to write speeches, I was able to become more confident and was able to help out in the community.
We are like a family now which is really fun and I feel like the program has been a great opportunity.
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Hannah Trimble.
Hi my name is Hannah Trimble and I am sponsored by James and Sons Electric Ltd. I am 15-years-old and my one main hobby is swimming. I joined the program because I have already been immersed in the community but the community doesn’t really know who I am, so I am trying to put myself out there and learn more about the community then I already have.
Being part of the program is amazing because I’ve been to events that I didn’t even know were actual events in the community so I’ve learned a lot more about our community and the people here.
I would recommend people join the program because you meet a lot of new people, some of the people in the program right now I didn’t even know went to my school and now they are friends that I can count on.
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Jadacia Barker
My name is Jadacia Barker and my sponsor is Cam’s Chimney Service. I was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I moved to Quesnel five years ago. At first I was super hesitant to join the Quesnel Ambassadors Program but then I realized — there are so many great skills you can learn from the program
This is a great program, I really learned how to be more confident as well as great conversational skills. Before I joined I was shy but now I know that I can do it and there is nothing to be scared about.
Some of my favourite memories were the self defence classes, they were a blast and I know that most of the other girls did too. Also we learned about etiquette and nutrition and I think that was very important.
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Tayla Sherstan
My name is Tayla Sherstan and I am sponsored by Craig’s Table. I am 15 and I go to Correlieu Secondary School as a grade 10 student. I was born in Calgary Alberta but I moved to Quesnel at a very young age. Some of my hobbies are drawing and singing in the performing arts.
Being a part of the program has been really great for me because I used to be really bad when it came to public speaking or even just speaking in front of my class and through doing this program and practicing speeches I have gained the skills to go in front of my class and do a presentation.
I think one of my favourite memories from the program came from when we did the Boots and Toques event, it was just a lot of fun and a great time that I got to bond with all the girls in the program
I would definitely say that they anyone interested should join because it has definitely helped me when it comes to my confidence.
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Melinda Jaggernath
My name is Melinda Jaggernath and my sponsor is Willis Harper Hardware. I’m really into music and the arts and such, I draw a lot and play violin and piano. I am the co-editor of this years Correlieu yearbook where I am a grade 11 student.
The program has meant a lot to me actually, when I was little I remember always seeing, I guess they were the princesses and the queen back then, and I always wanted to be like them so its been a really neat experience.
It’s defiantly helped me with my confidence a lot which I think will help me in so many ways and I definitely think people should join, it is such a unique program there is nothing else like it and it’s great.
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Sarah Foottit
My name is Sara Footit and my sponsor is Johnson Meier Insurance. I’ve lived in a lot of places, I moved here when I was adopted three years ago and my family decided to move to a smaller town where more family was. I am 15 years old and I really enjoy reading and writing and I am in grade 10 at Correlieu Secondary.
I joined the program because it has always been my dream to be in a spot or position where I can mentor younger people and be a role model and the ambassadors now are role models. I also wanted to be in a position where I could help other people and make a positive difference in some way.
The program to me means family because it is like my second family now and I feel like I can talk to them about pretty much anything because we are all so open with each other.
My favourite memory would probably be the murder mystery night that we had, it wasn’t really a planned event but it was something fun that we did and I think it was a great bonding experience for all of us.
I think I see the world in a different way now having been in the program because I have become so much more confident but also it has taught me how to be more resilient and more myself and more unique, so I think that is something that I will definitely take with me into the future.
I would recommend this program to everyone for sure. It’s like a family, so you have people there for you and you learn so many great skills that you can take with you into the future.
- Quesnel Ambassador candidate Beth Mattioli
My name is Beth Mattioli and I am sponsored by William Lacy Real Estate. I am 16-years-old and I am just finishing grade 10 at Correlieu Secondary School. I like being outside, hiking, fishing, and I love going hunting with my dad and my grampa in the fall.
I joined this program because I wanted to learn more about my community and I wanted to meet new people and go to different events. I also wanted to learn new skills that could help me in my future as well as right now. I wanted to learn better public speaking and resilience which I definitely have so far and I think it is going to help me in my future because when I graduate I plan to go to university to take a business degree that is something I’ve wanted to do since I was little and I definitely think the skills I have learned in the program will help me get there.
To anyone thinking of joining the program, when I originally started I thought it was all about wearing pretty dresses and stuff but I am so glad I did because its not just about wearing pretty dresses you learn and improve skills and it is an amazing experience.
- Quesnel Ambassador Hailey Murrey
My name is Hailey Murray, I am a Quesnel Ambassador for 2019. I’m a basketball player, I am a curler and I think this is my eleventh year as a member of Girl Guides of Canada.
The program has been amazing, I have made some amazing friends through it and it has just helped me out so much. Before the Ambassador Program I was what I like to refer to as being a ‘hermit crab’, the first meeting I went to was our information meeting and I went in a giant hoodie and had the hood up most of the time, that was my personalty. Now I am more outgoing and I’m more willing to do new things and I’m better at talking in front of people so it has helped me out a lot, its brought out the better parts of my personality.
I have a few favourite memories, one of them would be the dunk tank, during Billy Barker Days weekend, we volunteered at the dunk tank for a half an hour each and then then they had an empty spot and I was having fun so I stayed for an extra half hour. The other memory would be helping out the candidates, it really has been one of my favourite parts. I didn’t think I would be as excited about it as I am because I had it in my head that it was like training your replacement but honestly it was so great. It has been so great to see them grow and see the smiles on their faces and listen to all their great speeches.
For me, I didn’t actually know I wanted to join the program until I went to the first meeting — and that’s what tell people who are thinking about joining the program just come to the first meeting and hear what the program is truly about. I also tell everyone that it is not a beauty contest, its about bringing out the better parts of yourself.
- Quesnel Ambassador Nalyssa Runge
My name is Nalyssa Runge, I am 16-years-old in grade 11 at Correlieu Secondary School and I love to keep myself busy. I love to try new things, I play sports from basketball to soccer to bowling to track and field and I like to play the piano. I have been a part of speech arts for multiple years, I am a Métis and I think this will be my tenth year as a girl guide.
Being a part of the program has not only just been about being an ambassador for my town and showing what my community is to other people and other communities but also being a mentor for future ambassadors of this community and making people smile.
A big thing for me was always seeing little kids faces light up whenever they saw a girl with the sparkly crown and I love trying to inspire other people.
I don’t have any one stand out memory in particular, I just remember that at events you would see those kids faces or for example we went to seniors day at the last Billy Barker Days and talking to all the seniors and inspiring them and just making their day better and helping them out and helping out other committees and volunteering, being able to represent this program, this city, the youth its just all been memorable.
You can’t just name one skill learned in this program, speechcraft, resiliency, etiquette, your personal showcasing you can’t just name one skill the whole program it just teaches you everything.
You may not realize until you actually go through it how important and helpful the skills you learn in the program will eventually be. I know for a fact that I am going to be using these skills for the rest of my life and I know for a fact all the other girls in the program also feel that way. You are going to become a better person and you are not going to regret it.
- Quesnel Ambassador Sydney Williams
My name is Sydney Williams I am a Quesnel Ambassador for 2019. I joined because I thought that this was a really cool program and I had heard many stories about how it betters youth and how they get a lot of special opportunities in the community so I new that it was something that I wanted to join.
It’s hard to narrow down just what the program has meant to me but it has meant so much for sure. I have been able to get to know my fellow peers better, I have been able to get to know our city councillors and the people in charge at different organizations better and I have been able to see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes in Quesnel so this program has meant a lot to me and it is definitely something I will remember for a long time.
We have got to do some very unique things that I would have never been able to do before, for example learn how to change a tire in a one on one session with Wizards Garage. I don’t know why but that to me was the coolest thing ever, as well as I was able to pull the winning $10,000 ticket from the 50/50 draw at Crash to Pass last year and that was really cool.
Definitely what sticks out to me from the program for sure is the practical skills such as the nutrition pieces, the workshops with mechanics, the speechcraft and the proper interview preparation that we receive as well as how to dress properly. Those are the kinds of things that I think are so valuable to learn especially as a young person that we don’t necessarily learn in other places. So to have that one on one direct class and lessons was just amazing to have all in one program.
I would say look into it for sure and see if it the kind of commitment that you want to make and if it is absolutely take it. It is so, so empowering for every single youth to do this program.
The Quesnel Ambassador Leadership Program will be hosting Virtual Showcase and Awards Nights for its members on July 3rd and 4th, individuals interested in tuning in or learning more about the program can visit their Facebook page or website at www.quesnelambassadors.wixsite.com/home-1.
– with files from Lindsay Chung