Seniors spend summer representing SLP

Parktacular Ambassador program helps youth control futures, aid community.

Jenna Cook, writer

According to senior Jasmine Tchida, the Parktacular Ambassador program inspires her to do more than sit around with nothing to do all summer.

“I knew I wasn’t going to do anything this summer except for work, and I know I’m not going to be working all the time,” Tchida said. “I just wanted a reason to get out, not stay in bed all day.”

Senior Savita Oberdorfer said that living outside of SLP made her want to learn more about the community.

“I wanted to get more in touch with the SLP community especially since I don’t live there,” Oberdorfer said. “It’s also a helpful scholarship.”

Director of the Parktacular Ambassadors Maggie Meyers said being part of the program helps young people learn valuable skills like time management.

“I think with anyone in that age group time management is a big struggle,” Meyers said. “We give out calendars to them a couple months in advance so they need to coordinate their schedule with their work schedule and their school schedule.”

Oberdorfer said the Ambassador program has helped her gain self-confidence as well as a sense of purpose within the SLP community through volunteering.

“I really enjoy going to places and volunteering and learning more about St. Louis Park and the community. It makes me feel like I’m doing something with my life and helping others in a positive way,” Oberdorfer said.

According to Meyers the program helps condition ambassadors by teaching them skills that will benefit them into their college years and beyond.

“When you come out of this year you will be steps ahead of your peers because you will have experiences that they won’t have,” Meyers said. “We have a lot of fun doing it and there are some other side perks too.”

Tchida said her advice to any incoming members of the program would be to keep an open schedule.

“(The program requires) a lot of time. You have to have a very flexible schedule and to be dedicated. It’s a lot of work,” Tchida said.

Meyers said future ambassador events include the Defeat of Jesse James Day Parade in Northfield and they will also be participating in the St. Louis Park homecoming parade as well as Halloween festivities in Anoka.

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