New Hawks at the Lakes, the New Student Ambassadors Program


Photo via SLHS Student Ambassadors

To handle the large influx of students who are new to the school building itself, the South Lakes New Student Ambassadors program has been tasked with integrating new students into the South Lakes culture and student environment. As it began in early 2019, the program had no big projects to tackle, especially over quarantine when there was no reason to meet with new students. Consequently, as the 2021-22 school year was approaching, the question of how to deal with freshmen and sophomores who have never been to the school before arose. Seizing this opportunity, the New Student Ambassador program took on its first major project.

The program normally acts as a way for new students, specifically students who are unfamiliar with the school or community, to adjust comfortably and safely. A common activity for ambassadors to conduct is a school tour with their “buddy”, the new student paired with them. They show them how to get to their classes as well as other school facilities. Another item they are tasked with is to explain the more unique school programs and activities, like SS and blue/green days. They may also accompany them during lunch, transition periods, and other such times and are encouraged to help them participate in social activities such as clubs and sports. 

The student ambassadors were called on at the end of last year to begin planning how to tackle the start of the first year back from quarantine. To get some insight into how the planning and execution went, we spoke to Mariam Seshan, Buddy Pairing Coordinator, about how the transition went and the program’s future prospects. “The start of the year had a high peak of student tours” Seshan explained, “but the level of new students incoming is expected to stay somewhat the same through the year”. A successful strategy they employed was the creation of language teams. “Something new this year is that there is an influx of non-English speakers. As such, there was a call for multilingual ambassadors,” she explained. “We made language teams, like Spanish and Arabic, to help adjust students who don’t speak English. We want to make a safe environment for students coming to south lakes”.  

The program also hosts events throughout the year to have all the students and ambassadors interact and socialize, the first being on September 22, 2021.

Photo via SLHS Student Ambassadors

So what does it take to be an ambassador and how do you become one? From what it seems, it does not take perfect grades or accolades, rather an interest in helping others and new students as well as an in-depth knowledge of the school. It is also helpful for ambassadors to have outgoing and warm personalities to help socialize with the new students. In the first round of ambassadors in 2019, students were recommended by teachers. Now, there is an application form that may be submitted to apply. “Many of the ambassadors, like me, were new students who would have wanted that kind of help coming to South Lakes,” Seshan remarked.

If you are interested in being an ambassador, contact your counselor to learn more.