A NEW SCHOOL YEAR BRINGS NEW CHALLENGES
A new school year always has its share of challenges for students and schools, but with the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 on travel and student learning, this year is proving to be far more challenging than previous years. That’s where, in this back-to-school season, guard.me’s Campus Ambassador Program can be even more helpful.
STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS
Our volunteer Campus Ambassadors are all current students themselves, so they understand the additional anxiety and stress the pandemic can have on learning. Even though most Campus Ambassadors will be supporting their fellow students virtually, they can still provide a friendly, accessible source of peer-to-peer support, answering general questions and explaining the many options and services available to students through guard.meCARES, our health and wellness platform.
“We started the program as a pilot in just a handful of schools with about 20 student Ambassadors about three years ago,” says Jesse Poulin, Program Manager. “Now we have close to 80 Ambassadors on more than 25 campuses across the country. That’s a lot of growth in a short amount of time. And now, even though students may not be returning to physical classrooms, we can still provide much needed support online and through social media.” We’re doing regular virtual online sessions, Q&A sessions, tutorials, and online engagement campaigns, where students can share how they’re feeling and, what they’re doing for self-care along with other initiatives to continue to support students.”
The success of the program is due in large part to the dedication, enthusiasm and creativity our Campus Ambassadors bring to the role. We want all students to be able to gain leadership and real-life experience from putting on events and interacting with students, and the benefits that they get from being part of the program. It’s really about providing them with a full campus experience even if they’re not able to be on campus at this time. In return, we love helping them to gain meaningful business skills, build their personal and professional networks, and foster cross-cultural experiences throughout the school year. We then invite all Campus Ambassadors to expand those skills and maximize their personal and professional development at our annual leadership retreat, an all-expenses paid weekend designed just for them.
AT HOME BUT STILL TOGETHER
This year, that leadership retreat took place online, but the joy, collaboration and appreciation still came through.
“Each year the retreat keeps getting better and better and although this year we couldn’t bring everyone together, you could still feel the pride and appreciation,” says Jesse. “We can’t wait to get back to being together but until then, all our volunteers and our staff still capture the spirt of the program and are able to help and give back. ”
ONE OF THE WAYS guard.meCARES SUPPORTS STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS
Giving back and helping is even more important during these unprecedented times. The Campus Ambassador Program is an extra layer of support that guard.me is able to offer schools who are seeking to provide as normal a school experience as possible to their students and continue to keep them happy, healthy and learning.
“One of the important things we’re doing to support our schools is making our Ambassadors available once a week, on rotation, to educate students about mental wellness resources,” Jesse continues. “They’ll educate students about our keep.meSAFE program since there’s a lot of confusion around what institutional resources are still open and available. It’s an extra level of support we can give in addition to any school resources, so it makes it easier for our schools and is so valuable to students.”
We are always looking for energetic and enthusiastic students to join our Campus Ambassador team. If you know a student who would enjoy this unique opportunity for team work and professional growth, please email email@example.com. We’d love to tell you more!