Irmo High School International School for the Arts Student Ambassador Anthony Washington walks outside during recess at Irmo Middle School and immediately draws a crowd of students wanting to talk to him.
“I basically come in as a celebrity,” Washington said. “They all look at me and want to talk to me and ask me questions. I like to talk to them and get to know them and I also like answering their questions.”
Washington along with other Student Ambassadors at Irmo High School volunteer their time to serve as positive role models, promoting and sharing their love for Irmo High School with the community. Students apply to be a part of the program, go through an interview process, and participate in leadership training over the summer. This past summer, they set a goal to be more involved at all of the elementary, middle and intermediate feeder schools to Irmo High School.
“We decided to become ambassadors so we can show our love for the school and the Irmo Pride to our community,” said Student Ambassador Meredith Hewitt. “We come in to the feeder schools and hope to get students excited about coming to high school and answer any questions that they may have while also serving as a role model and a friend.”
Nia Brown added, “We’re still kids too, but these younger students realize that we are older and can offer them a different perspective about high school than their parents can give them because we are living it every day. We hope to relieve some of the fears they may have about the transition to middle and high school.”
The Student Ambassadors go to their assigned schools two or three times a month. They read with students, tutor students, help with activities in the classroom, work with small groups, mentor, and also serve as lunch buddies.
“Our students are very comfortable around the high schoolers,” said Shawnda Clark, Irmo Middle School counselor. “I feel like the kids are really excited to be able to connect with someone that they see as a mentor, but also someone they see on their level as well. I hope the students gain a sense of pride in the Irmo cluster and get excited to learn about the roles the student ambassadors are playing and how they can one day become an ambassador themselves.”
Dr. Robin Hardy, Irmo High School principal added, “Our Student Ambassadors epitomize the caliber of leadership expected in an Irmo High School student. They model school pride, character, and citizenship. I continue to be impressed by how they showcase our Irmo Strong community of learners on campus and at our feeder schools.”