youth empowerment / young ambassadors
The Lowline Young Ambassadors Program

Building upon over 3 years of the Lowline Young Designers Program, the Lowline Young Ambassadors Program is a mentorship and professional development program for high school sophomores and juniors living in New York City.

2016-17 Program Highlights:

Career and Educational Opportunities in STEAM Fields

“Now I have real work experience where I am able to engage with people from all over the world. I’m less afraid to speak my voice and to talk to people who I am not familiar with. I know a lot more about STEM fields and I have gained a massive interest in horticulture!” — Mandy Lee

The Young Ambassadors were exposed to many different career opportunities through more than 20 different career workshops and field trips, and have taken on the initiative to extend these connections into the future.

Career workshops and field trips allowed the group to learn from professionals in a variety of fields. Examples include talks about science education with CityScience, a lesson on 3D printing from the staff at iMakr, a visit to the Lower East Side Ecology Center to learn about the ecology of the East River, a chance to use high tech microscopes aboard the BioBus, a lesson on the history of the Lower East Side at the Eldridge Street Museum, and more.

Community Engagement and Public Speaking

“The Lowline is important to me because I live in the LES, so just seeing a positive quality in my neighborhood lets me know that people care and feel like our community is special enough to be apart of an important attraction.” — Melanie Goris

Our Young Ambassadors worked closely with Urban Planning consultants to be trained as community leaders and advocates. They have become an instrumental part of our community engagement work, speaking at and helping to facilitate public workshops, conducting outreach, and advocating for the Lowline throughout the community – truly fulfilling their title as Ambassadors for the Lowline.

Lower East Side History and Community Leadership

“The Lowline is important to me as an individual because it is going to be a new segment of the Lower East Side, which I have been living in for the last 14 years. — Cindy Zhang

Through a partnership with the New York Public Library, the Young Ambassadors helped propel the Lower East Side Oral History Project forward by interviewing Lower East Side residents throughout the neighborhood and recording their stories. These interviews not only encouraged the Young Ambassadors to examine issues locally as a means of interpreting the world, but gave them the opportunity to learn from individuals who have witnessed the Lower East Side transform over the course of several decades. Check out this link to listen to audio recordings of the interviews on the NYPL’s Oral History Project’s archive.

The Young Ambassadors have become active and engaged in the the Lower East Side community and many are taking on leadership roles in shaping their neighborhood outside of their involvement in the program. We are so proud that to share that the Young Ambassadors are applying to funding opportunities to create healthy opportunities for NYCHA residents, working to start Resident Green Committees to build and sustain a community garden in their development, and applying for summer internships at a variety of non-profits and city agencies.

Future Programs

From October 2017 – March 2018 we are expanding our Young Ambassadors Program by bringing on 12 new students to serve as the second class of Young Ambassadors. Our new class will take an active role in our ongoing community engagement in the Lower East Side by representing the Lowline at events, co-facilitating community workshops, and leading grassroots promotional efforts. This experience will allow the students to learn and improve upon important skills such as teamwork, public speaking, and advocacy.

In addition, our entire class of 2016-2017 Young Ambassadors will be invited to stay on as mentors – a paid opportunity to share all that they’ve learned with the next group, and continue to learn from the Lowline Team and our partners.

For more information on the application process for the 2017-2018 Young Ambassadors Program, please visit this link.

Questions? Email us at

Get Involved

Are you a professional working in a STEAM related field with a passion for education? We are looking for speakers to facilitate career workshops to share their experiences and inspire our Young Ambassadors to pursue their career goals. Please contact if you are interested in learning more!

This program is made possible by generous support from the Pinkerton Foundation, the Revson Foundation, and NRG Energy, Inc. Please contact us at for sponsorship opportunities or if your organization is interested in learning more about the Lowline Young Ambassadors Program.