Camryn Wilson: Civic Ambassadors Programs: Comparison and Implementation
From Emily Bush-Clark on April 9th, 2020
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For my civic and community engagement capstone project, I competed a comparison of the Connecticut Civic Ambassadors Program and the Texas Civic Ambassadors program. Upon completing the comparison, I offered a framework for the implementation of a similar program in Pennsylvania. I chose this topic for my capstone project because I’m passionate about everyday citizens creating meaningful change within their own communities. I believe in the potential of all people to make a difference and I care deeply about grassroots civic engagement. I was curious to know how these programs inspired and aided citizens to do civic engagement work within their communities.
I compared both programs on the criteria of application process, time commitment, responsibilities/benefits, types of projects, and demographics, while also providing a overall fundamental comparison of programs. Based on my research, I devised a framework for a potential Pennsylvania Civic Ambassadors Program, which takes elements from both the Texas and Connecticut Programs while also having its own uniqueness.
My target audience is both the general public and people in power who could help implement these types of programs in all states. It’s important for those who have the authority to implement a civic ambassadors program learn this information so that they can create a program specific to their state. The general public also benefits from this information because they can become the agents of change within their own states, with or without a civic ambassadors program.
One of the most surprising things I discovered is that civic ambassadors programs currently only exist in three states – Connecticut, Texas, and Nebraska. I think this can be a form of motivation to work towards implementing civic ambassadors programs in all states.
With the help of Dr. Rosa Eberly in the future, I hope to create the Pennsylvania Civic Ambassadors Program, using Penn State as the host university for the program. Not only would this be advantageous for the Penn State community, but the entire state would benefit from the resources Penn State has to offer to a program like this.