The SOICS Ambassador Program recognizes SOICS clients who have made an outstanding contribution to our organization. This could come in the form of volunteering, being exemplary students in the LINC program, acting as mentors and/or promoting our services when they are out in the community. For instance, this year we have chosen two potential ambassadors who have been clients for several years and are LINC students. They exemplify many of the Canadian values that are taught in the LINC classes, such as punctuality, consistent attendance at work or school, volunteering in the community and meeting commitments. These students have also served as mentors to others in the classroom, have tirelessly promoted our services to other members of the community and have brought new clients into the LINC program.
The ambassadors would be chosen through discussion among the staff. Duties of the ambassadors would include visiting the LINC classes to talk about their personal stories and the program. They could also attend special events such as parades, meetings and community events that SOICS is present at, where they would be able to talk to others and promote our services.
The program would have a number of benefits. For the ambassadors, it will increase their self-esteem and give them a sense of being formally recognized for their efforts, as well as providing networking and language practice opportunities at events they attend. The ambassadors can also act as role models for other clients, giving them something to aspire to and reminding them that although it isn’t always easy, it is possible to succeed and build a great life in Canada. For SOICS, the ambassadors will act as visible examples of how successful our services can be and help to raise our profile in the community. Having ambassadors who speak languages other than English at community events could give us the opportunity to connect with potential clients that we would not otherwise. Finally, giving clients who are already acting as unofficial ambassadors an official status will encourage them to continue promoting our services in the community beyond their tenure in the LINC classroom.