Before their graduation, our Junior Ambassadors' final task was to deliver a public presentation about an environmental topic of their choice. Some of our Ambassadors decided to complete this program requirement by participating in a panel discussion of threats to South Florida's waterways.
The theme of the panel was threats to South Florida's waterways. The Junior Ambassadors shed light on the issues, while also providing attainable solutions that they have learned about throughout the year long program.
"These students had a chance to not only showcase their public speaking skills, but they were able to do so in a way that let them speak about important local issues," said Dana Tricarico, "it was such a great way to see how far they have come as environmental advocates since the start of the program."
The Junior Ambassador Program is a year-long program that develops a cohort of high school students into young environmental leaders. It is offered to students at no cost by Miami Waterkeeper. Through the Junior Ambassador program, South Florida students become community leaders by gaining an understanding of issues impacting Biscayne Bay and the surrounding watershed, receiving training in civic engagement and advocacy, sharing their acquired knowledge with diverse audiences, and helping to organize interactive volunteer events.
The students become familiar with the complex relationship between social, environmental, governmental, and economic issues that are central to cultivating a culture of environmental awareness and advocacy in South Florida.
The students participate in advocacy trainings where they receive training on scientific issues, governmental frameworks, policy objectives, and communication skills. Junior Ambassadors learn how to give presentations about water resource issues in South Florida at these trainings. Public speaking is important for environmental advocacy as it is a way to educate the public on environmental issues and suggest potential solutions. These trainings help prepare Junior Ambassadors to become the next generation of environmental leaders an advocates in South Florida - or wherever they may land next!
The Junior Ambassador Program is generously supported by the NOAA Habitat Focus Area program, the Paul & Maxine Frohring Foundation, the Al & Jane Nahmad Family Foundation, and the Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation.
The 2019-2020 Miami Waterkeeper Junior Ambassador application will open August 1, 2019 and will close September 6, 2019. Students can sign up for program updates HERE.