By Tasha Bartholomew, @tashbart
Do you or does someone you know speak fluent English as well as fluent Spanish or Cantonese AND have a passion for helping others? If so, you may want to consider becoming a volunteer for the SamTrans Mobility Ambassador Program.
The SamTrans Mobility Ambassador Program puts seniors and others who may have mobility challenges in touch with friendly volunteers who provide travel training. This unique program gives people a chance to discover the ease and convenience of public transit in San Mateo County and beyond.
“Since the program started five years ago, we’ve had difficulty getting bilingual ambassadors and we feel like that’s something we’ve been missing in this program,” said Jean Conger, director of the Senior Mobility Program. “We don’t want to leave any group out, especially since there are large Spanish and Asian populations in our community.”
Some of the benefits in becoming a volunteer mobility ambassador include a free monthly SamTrans bus pass, ongoing in-service training and support, and networking opportunities.
The Mobility Ambassador Program was designed to offer free information about transportation options that work for individuals and families in San Mateo County. Trained volunteer ambassadors provide the information and then help people learn to ride the transit systems that work for them.
With the mission of keeping seniors and people with disabilities on the go and connected to their communities, Mobility Ambassadors take their students on SamTrans buses and Caltrain rail to learn the ropes of getting around without a car.
Ambassadors must be at least 18 years of age, complete a comprehensive training program and commit to volunteer for at least six months, pass a background check, and attend quarterly meetings as part of their volunteer hours.