TaTyana D. Williams
Without a doubt I was certain I was going to attend The Pennsylvania State University and during the open house there was one club in particular that I wanted to join. The Lion Ambassador club is where current students give tours and information about Penn State York to prospective students. Being a Lion Ambassador is a lot to be proud of; we are the first people the students and parents interact with when they arrive to our campus. In my eyes, we are the face of Penn State York.
Before open house I knew I wanted to be a Lion Ambassador because I came to a tour in the spring of 2011 and I had the opportunity to join classes and have lunch with people from the club and they shared all the amazing things the Lion Ambassadors do. I definitely saw myself in their shoes, giving tours, learning more about the campus and the Penn State history. I joined the Lion Ambassadors because I wanted to encourage students to attend Penn State. But we do more than that, we also have community service events, right now we are in the middle of saving soda can tabs for the Ronald McDonald house and we do fundraisings as well.
Being a student and giving tours is a good thing. When I was a senior in high school I went on plenty of tours, but when they were given by college students that made the tour more interesting. I asked questions about the campus life, the professors and faculty and all the clubs and sports and they were pretty honest with their answers. That’s what not only students want to hear, but also their parents. The Lion Ambassadors aren’t always about giving tours; we are also invited to a lot of events such as open house, college fairs, and other events that may be held at high schools.
The Lion Ambassadors also have the opportunity to be the Nittany Lion mascot. I had the experience to be the Nittany Lion twice. Once at a college fair for prospective students and the second time was at a Penn State alumni’s wedding reception. They had so much Penn State pride that they wanted the Nittany Lion at their wedding and in their wedding pictures, it was sure great experience and I couldn’t be more proud to be a student at Penn State.
Within the group of Lion Ambassadors, we are split up into three committees: fundraising, community service and social, with each committee having a student in the role of chairperson. The fundraising group’s name speaks for itself; the committee is in charge of coming up with different fundraising events and raising money for the club. For example we are now selling Joe Corbis’ pizza. All the activities which help others in our community go through the community service committee. I am in the third group, the social committee. We are in charge of promoting the school pride within our campus and we also schedule social events for the entire club to participate in, for example we just had a movie night for all the Lion Ambassadors. We also have an executive board comprised of a president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. Every year, there will be a new executive board so that everyone can be involved.
We also have a unique method for getting to know all the club members. Each member has the opportunity to encourage another member. This activity is called the “sunshine basket” and within the two semesters I have been an ambassador I’ve learned quite a lot about the members. For example, if someone is doing a great job at giving tours and always volunteering when they are needed, another Lion Ambassador makes them a basket of their favorite things. It is kind of like a “Lion Ambassador of the Month” and is a way to encouraging Penn State pride and participation in the group.
Just beginning this year, the Lion Ambassadors have started a new activity, “phone-a-thon. The club members each get a chance to call prospective students that have applied to Penn State York. We answer questions and also inform them about the exciting activities on campus.
I lived in Pennsylvania half of my live and the other half I lived in Arizona. All my life, I heard about Penn State and a school that is known worldwide has to be a great school. I love seeing people all around with Penn State clothing or license plates.
I’ve never been so committed to something in my life – I will always be proud of my school.
WE ARE…PENN STATE!