We are so proud of the 16 local teens who completed their first year of the Lowline Young Ambassadors Program!
Building upon over 3 years of the Lowline Young Designers Program, the Lowline Young Ambassadors Program is a 6-month long mentorship and professional development program for high school sophomores and juniors living in New York City.
The 2016-17 Young Ambassadors cohort consisted of 16 high school sophomores and juniors representing 14 different schools, including: Academy For Software Engineering, Beacon High School, BHSEC, Brooklyn Tech, East Side Community High School, Eleanor Roosevelt HS, High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, LoMA, NEST + M, PACE High School, Urban Assembly School for Business, and Winston Prep.
Collectively, our Young Ambassadors spent 1,800+ hours learning about:
Career and Educational Opportunities in STEAM Fields
“Now, I have a really great support group that I know I can come to when I’m having problems. 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 covered many different topics and allowed the group to learn from professionals in a variety of fields, including many professionals who work in the Lower East Side. Workshops included talks about science education with City Science, a lesson on 3D printing from the wonderful staff at iMakr, learning about the wonders of biomimicry with Biomimicry NYC, a visit to the Lower East Side Ecology Center to learn about the ecology of the East River and all about the NYC Compost Project, 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.
A testament to the relationships they forged throughout the community was the success of The Lowline’s first ever Science and Sustainability Fair, an event that they played a large hand in organizing and executing. Here they had the chance to showcase their knowledge of the Lowline, and work side by side with many other organizations who are working to promote science and sustainability by facilitating hands on activities for all ages.
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, our Young Ambassadors also helped to propel the newly established Lower East Side Oral History Project forward significantly by interviewing Lower East Side residents throughout the neighborhood and recording their stories. These interviews not only encourage 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 back soon for links to these Oral Histories on the NYPL’s Community Oral History home page.
Our Young Ambassadors have become very 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 our 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.
From October 2017 – March 2018 we will expand our Young Ambassadors Program by bringing on 12 new students to serve as the second class of Young Ambassadors! We will continue to introduce the youth of the Lower East Side to job opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) by introducing them to professionals in these fields through our successful career workshops. Our new class will take on an active role in our ongoing community engagement work by interacting with individuals throughout the Lower East Side community. This class will be responsible for representing the Lowline at community events, co-facilitating community workshops, and leading a range of additional activities to promote our engagement activities. 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 cohort, 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 subscribe to our newsletter for updates. The application will go live in June, 2017.
For more information on the Young Ambassadors Program, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship opportunities or if your organization is interested in learning more about the Lowline Young Ambassadors Program.