You never know if you don't ask - it's a fundamental truth in business and life.
So when SHAD Outreach Co-ordinator and UBC Program Co-Director Jess Tang wanted to find new ways to increase the number of SHAD outreach and recruitment presentations at schools and fairs across the country, she asked SHAD Fellows to help. The response was overwhelming.
"We were thinking we might get a few dozen really engaged alumni to help us out," Jess said about the program she's developed with her outreach colleague Kyle Blaney. "As a SHAD Fellow myself, I know that our alumni community is one that loves to contribute and give back, though I never expected to have so many raise their hands to volunteer.”
Jess Tang (left) with two SHAD Ambassadors, Mia Shih and Candice Chua.
"When 300 SHAD Fellows signed up to be Ambassadors - and pulled off over 110 presentations across the country we never would have been able to get to - we were amazed. That's the SHAD network in action. It's incredible."
The Ambassador program is for SHAD Fellows who want to share their experiences and stories about how the program impacted them. The ambassadors volunteer their time to do a presentation about SHAD to high schools in their regions, or set up a SHAD booth at conferences and fairs. These awesome SHADs aren't just expanding our reach, Jess explains - they're broadening our scope.
"Thanks to Ambassadors making presentations at their own schools, Kyle and I now have more capacity to focus on schools that haven't filed any SHAD applications in the last few years. We'll always foster our relationships with great feeder schools, and this way we can also focus on reaching high schools that may never have heard of SHAD - especially those in rural or remote areas. It's really exciting."
Here's an example.
"We received a request for a presentation from a guidance counsellor at St. Malachy’s in Saint John, New Brunswick," Jess explained. "It's a school that hasn’t had a SHAD application since 2013. In contrast, Saint John High School - a five minute drive away - sent six students to SHAD in 2017. So our SHAD Ambassadors at Saint John headed over St. Malachy’s to make sure their neighbours had the same chance to participate in the same amazing experience."
It's a simple solution to the problem of having limited outreach time and resources and a big country to serve.
Simple, but smart.
"SHAD Fellows feel the program gave them something special they may never have had otherwise. We all want to give back and stay connected to the program. This is a perfect way for Fellows to do that."
It takes two minutes for Fellows to apply to become a SHAD Ambassador. Or, to see the fun in colour, check out SHAD's instagram - photos of SHAD Ambassadors in action are rolling in across the country.
The deadline to apply for SHAD 2018 is November 20.