By: Marina Plume, Marketing Intern
With the Bay Area’s ever-growing community, the public transportation industry must continuously evolve to meet the region’s transit needs. SamTrans’ Youth Ambassador Program offers a unique opportunity for local young residents to play an active role in the development of the agency.
The Ambassador Experience
As representatives of youth communities throughout San Mateo County, SamTrans youth ambassadors dedicate time monthly to go behind the scenes of a public bus transportation agency, inform strategies to increase youth ridership and participate in fun outreach events.
Ambassadors have the opportunity to tour various bus facilities, witnessing firsthand just how large the agency is and how much diligent work goes into ensuring the best possible service is provided to SamTrans riders. Ambassadors also participate in fun events such as the , Stuff a Bus and more.
During youth ambassador meetings, participants are asked to call upon their own experience to add a fresh perspective when evaluating SamTrans service, brainstorming outreach plans for SamTrans engagement and developing promotional content, like the recently produced “Lil Monsters” bus etiquette video series.
Along with resume-building experience that adds value to college admission eligibility, this program provides youth riders with exposure to all of the different departments within the agency and help them discover what they may be passionate about for a future career or field of study.
Even coming in with a lot of knowledge of transportation, I still learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes of SamTrans. The field trip to South Base was particularly interesting, as were just the conversations with employees at meetings and outreach events. I especially enjoyed learning the planning side of things, from how bus drivers’ routes are determined to how SamTrans adjusts its schedules and counts passengers.Andrew M. 2018-2019 Youth Ambassador
How to Apply:
- Be a mature and driven high school or college student that lives or goes to school within San Mateo County
- Commit to volunteer an average six hours of work per month for at least 9 months
- Attend, in-person or through video conferencing, at least 5 out of 9 monthly meetings (counted as volunteer hours) with fellow volunteers
- Have an active email account that you check regularly
- Possess good knowledge of various social media platforms
Successful Volunteers are:
- Experienced with or willing to learn about using various forms of public transportation, including SamTrans and Caltrain
- Able to work patiently and respectfully with people of all ages and abilities
- Self-directed and able to work independently
- Exceptional problem-solving and communication skills
- Interested in seeking opportunities to help fellow youth
BENEFITS FOR YOUTH AMBASSADOR VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers will get:
- Promotional/marketing experience
- Community service hours
- Networking and volunteer opportunities
- Recognition at internal and community volunteer events
- Compensation in form of monthly bus pass and $200 stipend upon completion of the program
- Additional perks, such as snacks at monthly meetings, Brand Ambassador Jacket/T-shirt, bonus prizes and incentives for top participants.