Grace Scallion is a student at South Side High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas. When her French teacher opened the application process to become the ACIS Student Ambassador for their Summer 2017 trip to France and Switzerland, Grace knew she was the person for the job. As Student Ambassador, Grace would be responsible for co-organizing meetings and activities related to fund-raising and recruitment for the trip. Her teacher picked Grace to be her Student Ambassador because of her budding leadership skills, and Grace proved she made the right choice. She ran with the challenge and took her role very seriously, gaining loads of valuable experience in the process. She also was lucky enough to win the Student Ambassador Free Trip Raffle, which means ACIS is covering the cost of her entire trip!
We interviewed Grace about her experience as Student Ambassador, her upcoming trip, and what she learned from her experience:
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Which part of your trip are you looking forward to the most?
Traveling to France and Switzerland this coming summer, it’s difficult to pinpoint one exact thing I am looking forward to. Not only am I excited to sightsee and shop with friends who are traveling with me, but I am also excited to learn and experience a different culture and see the world from another view.
How did your teacher, Madame Goodfellow, describe the job of student ambassador to you when she asked you to take on the responsibility?
Madame Goodfellow had explained the basis of the student ambassador position during class, explaining that whoever received the responsibility would mediate and promote the trip throughout our school and community, and was sure to let us know all of the work that would be involved. After learning I received the position, throughout a series of interviews, Madame Goodfellow printed off and gave me all of the details I needed to know to do my job well.
Were you intimidated at all about the amount of work it would entail?
As a very enthusiastic and optimistic student and leader in my community, I was not very intimidated about the amount of work after fully understanding what I needed to do. Personally, once I agree and set my mind to do something, I make sure I complete my job and do it well, and I really enjoyed the opportunity I was given!
What were your main goals and responsibilities as Student Ambassador?
My main goals and responsibilities as Student Ambassador consisted of promoting the trip in different and creative ways and spreading the word throughout other organizations I am involved in such as National Honors Society (NHS), Future Business Leaders of America(FBLA), Delta Beta Sigma, and choir, along with several others. One of my biggest responsibilities besides mediating the trip was helping Madame Goodfellow stay organized, preparing for parent meetings, fundraisers, and staying on top of payment/enrollment deadlines to remind other students of upcoming dates.
How did you go about doing your job? Did you lean on any specific tools or resources to help you?
I mostly set my platform of Student Ambassador up on social media networks such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, GroupMe, and Twitter, posting news and updates regularly. Through Snapchat, I was able to contact an old friend who was an exchange student at my school last year and let him know we were coming to Paris, his hometown. This opened so many doors for our group, giving us many more opportunities while in Paris to see the best restaurants and shops while allowing us to meet an old friend.
How has the experience of working as a Student Ambassador helped you in school and in your development as a student leader?
This experience and opportunity of working as a Student Ambassador has helped me grow not only as a leader but also as a student and a person. It has allowed me to push myself and my work ethic to a new point creatively, further involve myself within the community through interacting with so many new people and has also allowed me to share my love of traveling with so many of my friends, classmates, and teachers.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience or your excitement about your upcoming trip?
I cannot wait for this trip and am so grateful for the opportunity of Student Ambassador! We fly out on July 10th, which happens to be my 18th birthday, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my day, or my last summer before attending college at the University of Arkansas. I have been given so many wonderful opportunities through the Student Ambassador program, and I encourage anyone who plans on traveling through ACIS to work hard for their school trips’ Student Ambassador program!