Change the World

Norcal_Ambassadors_Male

Our NTLP camp attendees are changing the world. As a part of the three day leadership conference, the attendees are presented with special awards for their commitment to extra-curricular activities, volunteerism and education. The students are acknowledged for their efforts during our Closing Awards Ceremony.

What are you doing to change the world? Register your student for camp today!

Texas, Trinity University

President’s Volunteer Service Award

President’s Volunteer Service Award is awarded to individuals who have dedicated a large number hours of community service in a year. Each winner received a certificate of recognition signed by the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Bronze Winner – 100 to 174 hours:

Maggie Spiekerman from Cornerstone Christian High School, Arlene Garcia from Foster High School, Cameron Meis from Antonian College Preparatory, Taylor Bui from Westlake High School and Raymond Fairley from Elkins High School

Silver Winner – 175 to 249 hours:

Claire Leighton from Homeschool Education Partnership

Gold Winner – 250 hours or more:

Myia Culbreath from STEM High School, Akron OH and Melissa Wegrzyn from Sandra Day O’Connor High School

Academic and Inspiration Award – Trinity University 2014
Caroline Rodriguez, Duncanville High School

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This special award goes to a young woman, Caroline Rodriguez, from Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas, who is passionate about Ice Skating. Our award winner started at age seven and has been skating for nine years (so much of her life.) She is both a regional and sectional competitor. As a regional competitor, she competes with girls from 9 states and in 2013 was awarded a Pewter Medal, which qualified her to compete in the Midwestern Sectional Championships. This includes girls from a total of 18 states and our winner placed 8th in the sectional Championship Competition.

As a high school student, Caroline found that keeping up the sport was much more difficult with the increased homework and grades that high school demands. To stay competitive she wakes up at 4:30am every day to practice before school, plus skates and additional two hours every day after school. She recently passed all of her skating tests, which qualifies her to coach or judge at competitions. Recently she was a judge at a competition where the skaters were her previous competitors. That made her feel really special as all of her hard work is starting to pay off and she has maintained her good standing in high school academics as well. Caroline’s next goal is to compete at Nationals.

Athletics Award – Trinity University 2014
Sreya Juras, Dublin High School

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Our Athletics Award winner, Sreya Juras, became interested in sports at age 5, when she was coached at that early age by her grandfather. By age nine, she was selected to an 18th nationally ranked soccer team. At age 5, our award recipient started swimming competitively, earning a Most Improved Swimmer award at age 8 and a 5-year Outstanding Team award before age 12. She started Basketball in 4th grade and joined a traveling Basketball team in 6th grade.

Once in Middle School, Sreya decided to try Volleyball. She made the 7th grade team, continued her club soccer commitments and maintained a 4.0 GPA. Not content with just these sports, she also ran track and hurdles, where she earned first-place awards for many meets. Focusing more on Volleyball by 8th grade, our athletic winner’s team beat the #1 seed team, where she served the goal winning play to win the game. During her final year of middle school, she was playing basketball for her school and Club Volleyball with the Elite Volleyball club.

Entering high school, Sreya participated in volleyball conditioning all summer and was rewarded by making the JV Team as the only Freshman to be offered a spot. Still young in her athletic career and holding a 3.98 current GPA, we were impressed with the wide variety of sports Sreya has undertaken and her dedication and passion to both her sports and her academics.

Community Service Award – Trinity University 2014
Glory Fisher-Jones, Communications Art High School

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We are pleased to give a Community Service Award for her participation in the ROLL Leadership Program to Glory Fisher-Jones, from Communication Arts High, San Antonio. ROLL Models Leadership Program is a unique leadership experience for children and youth ages 5 – 18, founded on four principles: Respect, Obedience, Love, and Leadership or “R.O.L.L.”. They use “rolling” to teach life skills and life lessons and encourage students and their families to use various forms such as bicycling, roller skating, bowling (to name a few) to create not only a healthy lifestyle but long lasting family memories.

Glory has been a member of the program for 4 years and has logged more than 350 miles (on a bicycle) with the program, 100 of those coming from just this fiscal year alone. With only 4 gears to choose from and carrying her little sister (and on occasions, another young child), she’s truly proven herself to be a strong and courageous young lady and a true ROLL Model.

With ROLL Glory has volunteered for the Angels’ Crossing non-profit foster care organization and has served as a team leader/mentor for team building events, for over 70 foster children of all ages. She also assisted with the construction of the Sutton Oaks Community Garden build out, that will go on to provide food for many generations to come.

Glory has participated in five Siclovia (SICK LOW VIA) events as a ROLL Model, making the 16 mile arduous trek through San Antonio streets, cautiously and without incident. She earned the position of “Rear Guard”, which makes her responsible for all youths under her purview. She often volunteers to work with the younger children, so that they too can accomplish the important milestone of riding a bicycle.

Overall Achievement Award – Trinity University 2014
Arlene Garcia, Foster High School

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From Foster High School, in Rosenberg, Texas, Arlene Garcia, has a weighted 4.9 GPA and is ranked 8th in her class of 449. She is an AP Scholar with honors, scoring at least 3.25 on all AP exams. She is also recognized by the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists for outstanding academic excellence and a National Hispanic Recognition nominee.

Arlene has completed over 240 hours of community service with organizations like the Red Cross and Special Olympics. She plays Varsity Water Polo (Team Captain), is on the Varsity Swim Team (Team Captain and First team all-district) and competes for Jr Vars. Track and Field. She also is a certified scuba diver.

Her extra-curricular activities include: Student Council, DECA, HOSA, National Honor Society and she is an artist – having competed and was a semi-finalist in the Houston Livestock & Rodeo School Art Competition.

Overall Achievement Award – Trinity University 2014
Shiloh Goecke, Queens City High School

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Shiloh Goecke is a young lady from Queens City High School, in Atlanta, Texas earning a 4.0 un-weighted GPA and a weighted 5.78 who is also ranked 2nd in her class. From 3rd – 8th grade, she participated in an Accelerated Reading program, where points are awarded based on number of books read and reading level. Students are tested and awarded points on each book. Our High Achiever was awarded over 1,000 points in 8th grade alone, a record that has never been broken. She also received State Recognition in the Duke Talent Identification Program for her high ACT score and she is a National Merit Scholarship qualifier.

Additionally, Shiloh is a member of the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association, University Interscholastic League, Student Council, Spanish Club, and National Honor Society. Besides excelling academically, she was also named Art Student of the Year for 10th and 11th grade. Shiloh plays Softball, Varsity Volleyball, Varsity Basketball, Varsity Track and Varsity Tennis, where she was recently named MVP and also finds time to work with children with special needs.

So-Cal, Concordia University

President’s Volunteer Service Award

President’s Volunteer Service Award is awarded to individuals who have dedicated a large number hours of community service in a year. Each winner received a certificate of recognition signed by the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Bronze Winner – 100 to 174 hours:

Emily Gnasso from Burbank High School, Lesly Hernandez from Alliance College-Ready Academy High School #5, Michelle Mkhlian from Montebello High School, Megan Bursch from West Hills High School, Alexandra Lee from San Juan Hills High School, Triniti Perkins from Opportunities for Learning

Silver Winner – 175 to 249 hours:

Aliyah King from John W. North High School, J’aira Brown Simmons from Opportunities for Learning and Emily Johnson from William J Pete Knight High School

Gold Winner – 250 hours or more:

Temperance K. Brown Brandt from Learn For Life and Olivia Garza from Mater Dei Catholic High School

Academic and Inspiration Award – Concordia University 2014
Dominic Dumont, Foothill Technology High School

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Dominic Dumont has attended multiple teen leadership programs, has been elected to numerous leadership positions, and has been an active member of the Boy Scouts for 9 years, including elected to the BSA Honor Society, Order of the Arrow. He has also raised over $1,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for pediatric cancer research and shaved his head to raise awareness for their work.

While focusing on being a community leader, he is also achieving academic excellence. He attends a very rigorous charter school with extremely difficult curriculum. And despite his busy schedule and the tough academics, he has a 3.65 GPA and is a member of his school’s Honor Society.

In addition, our award winner is simultaneously attending junior college. In May 2017, he will graduate with both his high school diploma and as Associate’s of Science degree in Business Management.

Music Inspiration Award – Concordia University 2014
Veronica Mansour, Chaminade College Preparatory

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Veronica Mansour began playing piano at age two and cello by age 4. At the ripe old age of 8 she began to put her talents to work in musical theater and currently devotes at least 20 hours a week to music.

Veronica’s dedication and talent has been noted and awarded many times. She has been awarded the Pasadena Conservatory of Music Merit Scholarship for cello studies for the past five years and was awarded the Best Female Ensemble Member in 2014. She also won VOCE California State 1st Place Junior Division Solo Competition.

In addition to being a lifelong musician, Veronica co-founded a charity, the Young Artists Alliance, when she was only in the fourth grade. Every year for the past five years, the Young Artists Alliance has put on a benefit concert for various causes. They have raised money for the Red Cross/Haiti Earthquake Relief, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the ‘We Can’ Pediatric Brain Cancer network, and this past year they raised a record-breaking $5,500 for Children’s Hospital’s Art Therapy Program.

Special Award for Taekwondo – Concordia University 2014
Joseph Babista, John F. Kennedy High School

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We awarded Joseph Babista a special award for his dedication to Taekwondo. He has has been studying Taekwondo for eight years and has been active competively since age 6. His climb to the top of the Taekwondo world was not easy. He experienced heartbreaking losses and missed opportunities to be included in the Top Ranks. He worked hard by training 4 hours a day, 6 days a week for the past four years since joining Team Salim, headed by 1992 Barcelona Olympics Taekwondo Gold Medalist Master, Gergely Salim.

Joseph is not only physically prepared for every tournament but also prepared spiritually as well. He has been featured in two news features in a local Philipino newspaper because of his exemplary performance in the US Open Taekwondo Championships.

He is now preparing for the US Junior’s Team Trial in May 2015 in preparation for the World Junior Taekwondo Championship and the Junior Olympics. Some of his titles include: 2014 CA State Championship Champion, 2014 Nevada State Champion, 2014 US Open Taekwondo Championship Champion plus four other Championship Titles in last three years. Joseph is currently training for the 2020 Olympics representing the United States of America, National Taekwondo Team.

Perseverance and Determination Award – Concordia University 2014
Shantell Gomez, Bell Gardens High School

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Sometimes life events happen that affect us in ways we never expected. The way we deal with these events can say a lot about our character, focus, and determination. We can choose to let our challenge overwhelm us or we can, as Kelsey Tainish told us, Try and Try and Try again.

Shantell has faced a major challenge in her life and has chosen to, in her own words “become more responsible, independent and hard working.” She says that her challenge as a single mom, made her goal to become a registered nurse, “only harder, not impossible.”

Towards reaching her goal, she joined Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and ran for Vice President; she has been a donor at 3 of her school’s blood drives and one at the city police department; she joined the ROP Nursing program; and will be volunteering at a local hospital this summer.

In addition, she has qualified for the Principal’s Honor Roll for achieving a GPA of 4.17 and is ranked in the top 10% of her class of 678. In recognition of her academics and accomplishments, she was chosen by the nonprofit organization Generation Her, as “Teen Mom of the Year” and her story was published in their newsletter. Additionally, because she is at the top of her graduating class, her school has submitted her transcripts to the University of California, Board of Regents.

Shantell was not nominated to attend NTLP by her school. She took her own initiative to read about our program, sign up and on her own, complete the process to attend. We want to support her, because being a mom is one of the hardest (if not one of the most rewarding jobs) there is and she needs every bit of encouragement and support along the way. The steps she is already taking is assuring her success both as a mom and as role model for her son.

Overall Achievement Award – Concordia University 2014
Megan Bursch, West Hills High

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Megan Bursch has already accomplished so much; it’s hard to know where to start. She was voted most Athletic in 7th and 8th grade, and played JV Volleyball, and Varsity Track & Field (as a Sophomore). She has also played AYSO to AAA League Soccer for over 10 years and completed intensive soccer training at Wingate University, North Carolina, by invitation only. She also played Varsity Soccer for her school, Freshman through Senior years.

Megan has volunteered at various athletic events, not as a participant but to help facilitate others’ success. These events include Step Out Walk to Cure Diabetes, the Kiwanis Invitational Special Olympics, the Rock and Roll Marathon, and the Junior Olympics. She has also been an active volunteer at her local animal shelter, a local women and children’s center and her public library, garnering over 130 hours in the past year.

An active leader in her school, Megan has participated in the Future Leaders of America Debate Club, Key Club, and the Post High School Preparation Club. She is also President of the Random Acts of Kindness Club, an organization that promotes acts of compassion around the school. She was chosen to be an Ambassador for the National Society for High School Scholars, an invitation-only organization for academically gifted students. As an Ambassador, Megan reaches out to members to inform them of leadership opportunities and encourages fellow students to succeed in school. She also has 4.0 unweighted GPA and a 4.714 weighted GPA and is ranked 4th out of 428 at her school.

Overall Achievement Award – Concordia University 2014
Alexandra Lee, San Juan Hills High School

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This overall achievement award is presented to a young woman dedicated to academic excellence, community service, school leadership and teen empowerment. Her academic and school leadership achievements include a 4.0 GPA, a President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence, a designation as a member of the National Junior Honor Society and she has provided three years of service for the Associated Student Body and Student Council.

Additionally, Alexandra has spent countless hours volunteering and serving the community as a member of Make a Wish Club, Rotary Club, Lions Heart and she has been recognized with 8 Community Service Awards for her work with the National Charity League. She has also served the needs of families effected by domestic violence as a volunteer and intern for Laura’s House. Her exposure to the problem of domestic violence inspired her to create a school based program called S.E.D.A. or Students Ending Violence and Abuse. The purpose of this club is to educate teens and promote prevention of dating violence.

Overall Achievement Award – Concordia University 2014
Michelle Mkhlian, Montebello High School

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“Music is my life.” Those are the words of Michelle Mkhlian from Montebello High School. This young lady began singing as a young child, and has been singing in talent shows, assemblies, special programs and church ever since. In the 5th grade, she decided she also wanted to take up the violin. By 8th grade she was the first chair violin in the Advanced After School Orchestra. She has participated in music festivals across Southern California and has repeatedly garnered Superior and Unanimous Superior ratings from the judges.

Michelle is also involved in many campus leadership activities. She is the Vice-President Elect of the Key Club and has served as Sophomore Representative in ASB. She is an active member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. Additionally, she founded an inspirational, anit-bullying, Kindness Campaign which has had a positive effect on students, teachers, and staff. At the end of the school year, her fellow ASB members awarded her the title of “Biggest Hero.” This past year, Michelle was selected as the runner-up for the Hugo O’Brian Youth Leadership program, and she became a member of the campus Armenian Club.

In the community, she is a member of the Montebello Youth Leadership Club and she takes an active part in City Council meetings and community events. She has also worked on the election campaign for City Councilwoman, Vivian Romero. While accomplishing all this, Michelle has been on the Honor Roll 16 consecutive semesters since intermediate school, and has been a member of her school’s League Champion Water Polo team.

Nor-Cal, California State University, Sacramento

President’s Volunteer Service Award

President’s Volunteer Service Award is awarded to individuals who have dedicated a large number hours of community service in a year. Each winner received a certificate of recognition signed by the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Bronze Winner – 100 to 174 hours:

Stephanie Alejandre from Pathway High School, Alexander Fisher-Wagner from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Claire Snyder from Oak Ridge High School, Hailey Thomas from Rio Linda High School, Matthew Cruz from Oak Ridge High School, and Eden Gomez from Virginia City High School

Silver Winner – 175 to 249 hours:

Audrey Do from American High School, Lorenzo Abrego from Adelante High School, Mehrani Basi from Modesto High School, Toni Gadar from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, and Cynthia Tze from Franklin High School

Gold Winner – 250 hours or more:

Alexander Elfar from St. Joseph Notre Dame, Ashvrya Sharma from Folsom High, Jordan Schimke from Mills Middle School, Jose Hernandez from Cordova High, Henna Hundal from Turlock High, Martina Dickerson from Oak Ridge High School, Katie Darrow from Maria Carillo High, Kayla Thlang from SAVA, George Zhang from Dougherty Valley High, Zoya Kahn from Folsom High School, Jason Kabanuck from Casa Grande High School, and Kelton McKinley from Nevada Union High School

4.0 Club – Students must have a un-weighted GPA of 4.0:

Aaron Ramos, Gregory Galvan, Sylvia Grape, Maya Rowell, Bennison Flores, Jr., James Bramble, Sheila Correa, Julia Courville, Tori Davis, Aivy Duong, Alex Fisher-Wagner, Henna Hundal, Rachel Hungerford, Alex Elfar, Garrett Kauppila, Meredith McMurrey, Isabel Reyes, Alyssa Snow, Gaelyn Walche, George Zhang, Tawni Saiz

Inspiration Award for Academics and Journalism – CSU Sacramento 2014
Henna Hundal, Turlock High School

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We awarded a special award to Henna Hundal of Turlock High School, an academic scholar and one who is extremely passionate about journalism. Henna is currently ranked 1st in her class of 511 students and has attained a weighted GPA of 4.68. By her junior year in high school, she has completed 4 college courses, including 3 Stanford Online University Programs in Calculus and Biology.

In addition to her academic excellence she is the Express Yourself! Teen Radio Host and Health Reporter on the VoiceAmerica Kids Network. The radio show broadcasts in 132 countries. She is also a Huffington Post Teen Blogger where she blogs about health topics relevant to young people and is a health writer for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. She is the only youth opinion columnist for The Turlock Journal and recently became the Journal’s Youth Correspondent serving as broadcast reporter in news clips that are streamed on the Journal’s website. In May of this year, she debuted “Tomorrow’s World With Henna” on centralvalleytalk.com, Fresno’s premier online TV station and is the youngest host of a show on the network.

Henna has also been the recipient of the following journalism awards and accolades: CNN Featured iReporter, 2 Editors’ Choice Awards for health articles featured on the online version of Teen Ink Magazine, and she was honored with the County Mock Trial Courtroom Journalistic Award.

Inspiration Award for Leadership and Mentoring – CSU Sacramento 2014
Tawni Saiz, Analy High School

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Analy High School student, Tawni Saiz, has a heart to promote peace, camaraderie and healthy lifestyles for youth. Her years of service began in the eighth grade where she worked as a peer counselor and mediator for younger students in conflict with friends.

From there she served as Safe School Club Ambassador all four years of high school. This club’s mission was to bring awareness to bullying and to teach targets of bullying how to reason with their aggressor to put an end to the conflict.

In her senior year, Tawni joined her school’s 1-4-1 Club which reaches out to students with drug and alcohol problems and teaches them the dangers of addiction and how to live a healthy lifestyle with respect and compassion for themselves and others. This club also serves the needs of middle school students and our award winner personally led a six week session educating middle school students about healthy living choices and the dangers of substance abuse and unsafe life choices.

As a result of her dedication to others and demonstrated leadership abilities, Tawni has earned a $500 scholarship from her school and a $1,000 scholarship from the Kiwanis Club.

Overall Achievement Award – CSU Sacramento 2014
George Zhang, Dougherty Valley High School

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George Zhang of Dougherty Valley High School has achieved outstanding academic performance and exemplary community service. George has completed a full year of Algebra I within 6 weeks through UC Berkley’s Academic Talent Program. He completed an online high school Honors Biology class through John Hopkins University and an Algebra II, 10th grade class while in the eighth grade.

He is ranked in the top 1% nationwide by the American Mathematics Competitions and he has also completed AP Courses in Calculus, European History, Biology and Chinese, while maintaining a GPA of 4.33. In both 2013 and 2014, he was awarded the Scholar Athlete Award from the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) for excellent academic performance while competing in interscholastic athletics.

From 2008-2014, George served as Vice President and Treasurer for the Chinese American Cooperation Council. In 2012, he traveled to rural China to teach English and to donate books and stuffed animals to local autistic children. Additionally, he co-founded and served as president for the Tutor Tree, a non-profit organization that provides free tutoring and donates books to children from low income families.

Overall Achievement Award – CSU Sacramento 2014
Alexander James Elfar, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School

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Our Overall Achievement Award recognizes students for their outstanding achievements in several areas including academics, extra-curricular, community service and athletics. This award was presented to Alexander James Elfar, an amazing young man who has set the standard for academic achievement at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School. Alexander has excelled in advanced mathematics and science as demonstrated by GPA of 4.45 with honors and awards. He has earned at least 6 awards in science including the prestigious title of 2 time Grand Champion of the St. Joseph Notre Dame, Oakland Diocese Annual Science Fair and First Place in the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair. Additionally, he has been accepted into the Stanford University Education Program for Gifted Youth and is ranked in the top 5% in mathematical ability nationwide. He has also earned the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship Foundation-National Mathematics Award.

Alexander has earned his Eagle Scout ranking from the Boy Scouts of America and has been Elected Class Representative at his High School, during his Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years. He has served countless community service hours and has traveled to Ecuador to serve as a volunteer to work with children in a local village.

Finally in the arena of artistic and athletic talent, this winner was awarded his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do in 2012 and has earned a High School Diploma of Social Music in 2014. Alexander has also earned the Guild Founder’s Plaque/Medal from the National Guild of Piano Teachers and has been awarded the National Honor Roll for four years and is currently working on his 5 year National Roll Award in May 2015.

Overall Achievement Award – CSU Sacramento 2014
Gaelyn Walche, Davis High School

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Gaelyn Walche also received our Overall Ahas not only distinguished herself academically, but also in her development as a leader, a health crusader, a community volunteer, and an artist with an unbeatable spirit. With a 4.55 weighted GPA, straight As in honors and AP classes, a 219 on the PSAT and a score in the 99th percentile for ACT scores. She was also a nominee for the United States Achievement Academy, an organization that provides scholarships for exceptional high school students.

This young lady has also attended multiple youth academic and leadership conferences including Brandeis University Global Youth Summit on Future of Medicine, Dartmouth Health Institute and Brown University’s “Lesson in Leadership” where she was described by one of her professors as, “one of the top performers in the class which drew nearly 40 top scholar-leaders from across the U.S. and the world.”

Gaelyn also has established an impressive leadership record through her positions as the Vice President of her school’s chapter of the Model United Nations Club, the National Honor Society, the President and Founder of Teen Health Awareness Club and the Co-President of Healthcare Careers Club.

She is also an athlete and artist. She was an accomplished gymnast before she broke her wrist. Rather than giving up, like a true leader and warrior, she found another way. She began dancing with an advanced modern dance club and with a ballet company. Gaelyn is now a very accomplished ballet dancer, having performed in the Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Coppelia.

Ambassador Award

We also present students with the Ambassador Award. This special award is given to the students by the students. We call it the Ambassador Award because the students who earn this have made it their personal mission to help their peers get the most out of this weekend.

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Texas, Trinity University

Saashah_Barrgan_Graves

Female Ambassador: Saashah Barragan-Graves
Texas, Trinity University

Ryan_Hall

Male Ambassador: Ryan Hall
So-Cal, Loyola Marymount

Olivia_Garza

Female Ambassador: Olivia Garza
So-Cal, Loyola Marymount

Ryan_Rodriguez

Male Ambassador: Ryan Rodriguez
Nor-Cal, CSU Sacramento

Ricki_Jenaya_Hall_Scott

Female Ambassador: Ricki Hall-Scott
Nor-Cal, CSU Sacramento

Bennison_Flores_Jr

Male Ambassador: Bennison Flores Jr.