Are You An Ambassador?

Ambassador-a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.

I believe education is a relational good.  It isn’t produced or consumed alone.  It requires the active participation of others.  The more people who engage in it by sharing their insights, challenging convention and searching for shared understanding, the more valuable the education becomes. The more valuable the education, the more promising your future.

The problem is that most people don’t understand that education is an enlightening experience that develops mindsets, provides the perspective that gives knowledge meaning and leads to better purposeful action. People are also busy and education is inconvenient.  It demands your full attention when you would rather be doing something else.  So, they look for shortcuts: They want to google their education.  But knowledge without perspective is frequently misapplied.  They are conditioned to think that good grades reflect learning. So they cram to succeed on that exam. But temporary mastery of content is not the same as sustained mastery of action. They graduate with a good gpa, totally unprepared for what lies ahead.

The hardest thing for any leader to do is to help people work toward a future they have yet to experience.  The cost of working toward any vision are up-front and known.  The benefits of the vision are in the future and fuzzy.  Convenience favors the status quo. And because education is a relational good, an enlightening experience that cannot be created or consumed alone, I need ambassadors: people who will engage and promote the common future and enlightening experience we seek. I cannot do this myself. I need people who will advocate for the cause, create converts and move the needle forward.

If you “get” what I’m talking about and want to work toward this vision, apply to be an ambassador. It will be an enlightening and rewarding leadership experience for you.   The application process begins this week.  If instead, your looking for a co-curricular activity that will add balance to those good grades and round out your resume, we are not for you.  Your real education will have to take place somewhere else. If you are unsure about whether you are up to the challenge, have a conversation with Jennifer Johnson.  She runs the ambassadors program as well as The Exchange.  Conversation is at the heart of the educational experience and who knows, talking with her  just might inspire you to join us.