Updated December 27, 2023: Learn more about our Student Ambassador initiative and about the individual students in each cohort in their own words.

At the November 17th, 2023, 4th-quarter meeting of the P20 Council, our first cohort of Student Ambassadors were the stars of the meeting. A huge thanks to these 20 remarkable individuals for bringing student voice into this work! The room was full of energy, inspiration, and momentum!

We rotate our meetings each quarter so that we meet in each of our four counties once a year. This quarter’s meeting was held in Transylvania County at the Mary C. Jenkins Community and Cultural Center in Brevard. The large meeting room and adjoining outdoor space provided a perfect venue for both small-group discussions and a short, large-group presentation by our Executive Director, Emily Nicholson. Lunch was catered by downtown Brevard’s Blue Ridge Bakery and was a big hit.

Before the meeting, we randomly paired our Student Ambassadors with our Council members and prepared them all with a list of questions that included opportunities to celebrates successes and also to learn how to fill gaps to create more opportunities for students of today and tomorrow. Those strengths and challenges are a core component of the P20 Council’s mission, and we are grateful to our Student Ambassadors for their willingness and dedication to bring their honest perspectives to these discussions. Engagement was lively, communication was open, and many attendees remarked on their appreciation for the opportunity to share and to learn from one another.

Members in this first group of Student Ambassadors for Fall 2023 represent high schools and postsecondary institutions from all four counties in the Land of Sky region.

  • Heidi Anugrah from Blue Ridge Community College
  • Abigail Blankenship from Madison County Early College
  • Cate Boyette from Hendersonville High School
  • Eleura Clark from Madison High School
  • Citlally Diaz Mar from North Henderson High School
  • Ella Estrada from Asheville High School
  • Rodion Floresku from Buncombe County Early College
  • Ashleigh Grieves from Brevard High School
  • Marion Hawsey from Blue Ridge Community College
  • Emily Hazzard from Hendersonville High School
  • Michael “Hilton” Swing from Hendersonville High School
  • Lucian Iavorschi from Buncombe County Early College
  • Kimberly Jones from Mars Hill University
  • Natalia López from Erwin High School
  • Stuart Maise from Buncombe County Early College
  • Aaron Marquez-Cruz from Buncombe County Early College
  • Taylor McHone from Enka High School
  • Kaylie Phillips from West Henderson High School
  • Fanny Reynoso-Diaz from Asheville High School
  • Eric Velez from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

You can learn more about these remarkable youth as they explain in their own words why they chose to serve as Student Ambassadors. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook as we post about them throughout the month of December.

Our Student Ambassador initiative has been such an overwhelmingly positive experience for all involved, and we will definitely be repeating it next semester. We will begin accepting interest forms for our second cohort of Student Ambassadors early next year. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated.

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