“If I can do it, so can you!”
Founded in 1991, young women of Mount St. Mary’s College gathered together for one common purpose: “To help high school students in the greater Los Angeles area gain a better understanding about higher education, college life, and the college application process.” Many of these young women found that their high school did not assist them or provide the guidance that the students deserved.
The Student Ambassador Program was created to “serve as an inspiration to the communities as they work to motivate high school students to continue their education,” as stated in their mission statement. On average, 7,000 high school students are assisted every year by MSMC Student Ambassadors. An average of one to two Student Ambassadors are assigned to a high school to guide students through the college application process. They are added resources to help college counselors help students. For years, several outside grants, provided continuous support of the Student Ambassador Program. Recently, because of the economic downfall, some grants given to MSMC to run the program have been withdrawn. This served as a major setback for the Student Ambassadors along with the hundreds of high school students who benefit from the program.
The Student Ambassador Program is solely run by students. The Student Ambassador Coordinator, Karina Oceguera, a Senior at MSMC graduating in May 2009 with a degree in Sociology, feels that “through the Student Ambassador Program, we have been able to help many high school students in their journey to prepare for college, especially by introducing them to our motto, ‘Believe, If I can do it, so can you!’ I hope we can continue to serve the students we help today. Our wish is that they may want to help others when they have found their path, as we helped them.”