Organizers. Advisors. Leaders. AmbassadORs
Old Rochester’s AmbassadORs all have one thing in common—they want their ideas heard.
The AmbassadOR Club—now in its third year—blends “ambassador” and the abbreviation of “Old Rochester,” and was founded by Old Rochester Regional High School Principal Mike Devoll. Student members are selected to represent the school, give tours, help organize events, and generally give back to the community at large.
Devoll founded the AmbassadORs Club while thinking back on his time at the Providence College. “The students who were always giving the tours, always representing the school well, they were the members of the Friars Club,” he said. “Those students were always working to better the school, and I thought it would be a good idea to bring that idea to Old Rochester.”
“The students always have great ideas,” he added. “They come up with things I might not have thought of.”
“[AmbassadORs] gave us the chance to input our own ideas for the school,” said senior Mackenzie Drew.
“We could’ve gone through Student Council, maybe, but this seemed like a direct way to get our ideas heard,” added fellow senior Jenna Aruri.
The students want their ideas heard— and they want to help.
Whether that’s babysitting younger children at school event nights, giving tours of the high school to new students, or planning school dances, “It just feels nice to help out,” said senior Joseph MacKay.
He added that members of the club also take charge during freshman orientation, giving tours of the school and adding in their own useful tips and tricks to getting the best out of a high school experience.
“We have a bit of a script—things we need to cover,” he explained, “but we’re free to add our own thoughts and things we think might be useful to freshmen.”
Members of the club meet during the school’s Bulldog Block, a flexible amount of time set aside for students to pursue educational interests or seek extra help if needed. Earlier in the year, the club members organized stickers to promote the new Old Rochester Bulldog logo, as well as ordering towels with the logo and coordinating their handout during the Homecoming pep rally.
The students are on call, to a degree.
“Obviously we do our best not to interrupt their school day, but a new student could show up and need a tour of the school tomorrow,” Devoll said. “Someone has to be available for that.”
Some AmbassadORs, like MacKay, have been involved since the program began three years ago. Drew and Aruri have been around for two years.
Mikayla Chandler, on the other hand, has been an AmbassadOR for only a year, but she’s as involved as everyone else. Her favorite project, she said, is a “Guardians and Little Angels” dance she’s currently working on.
“It’s along the lines of a father-daughter dance,” she explained. “But we wanted it to be for anyone that any student consider family.”
Small surprise that she fits in so easily; the AmbassadORs are in charge of picking their peers. While MacKay, who came onboard at the beginning of the club, was selected by a panel, Drew, Aruri and Chandler were all selected for membership by fellow AmbassadORs.
“It’s an anonymous application process,” Devoll explained. “No names are involved anywhere. It’s not a popularity contest, I didn’t want students to just pick their friends. Student grades are considered, but that’s only one piece of the application.”
“We look for well-rounded students,” MacKay explained. “They have to want to be involved, they have to want to help. It’s not just about good grades or winning a popularity contest.”