Marion County High School senior Anna Kate Hardin has been named the MCPS Student Ambassador of the Week by ambassador advisors Laurie Followell and Troy Benningfield.
“Anna Kate keeps us moving in the right direction when it comes to student ambassadors,” Followell said. “She has an exceptional attention to detail that allows us to get everything done effectively. When given a task, Anna Kate sees it through to the end. Her personality makes her a true leader and keeps us entertained. She knows how to motivate others, and we are truly a stronger group because of her guidance.”
This is Hardin’s third year as a student ambassador and she is a member of the group’s executive council.
“Anna Kate is a proven leader at Marion County High School. She exemplifies Knight Pride in both the classroom and the leadership roles she plays,” Benningfield said. “I am always impressed with her ability to inspire other students to step up and model the way. She is confident, well-spoken, and able to see the best in others. I am very proud of the outstanding young woman she is and excited about her potential as a young adult. Her influence among the student body at MCHS will be missed, indeed.”
For Hardin, the value of the ambassador program is its ability to develop interpersonal skills.
“I think my favorite part of being a student ambassador is definitely being able to build relationships with people in the community and also the educators here in this district,” Hardin said. “I think it’s cool that I can go up to an adult in [the high school] or a member of the board and just have a conversation using the skills that ambassadors has taught me.”
Hardin also noted the outreach programs that the ambassadors organize as especially important.
“One of my favorite events we do every year is the Young Leaders Conference,” she said. Each spring, elementary and middle school students are invited to the conference where the ambassadors lead sessions on developing leadership and soft skills. “We host stations for them and teach them how to be a better leader or how to prepare for high school. I think it’s really cool getting to talk to elementary students and give them an opportunity that I didn’t have.”
As far as advice for potential future ambassadors, Hardin says they shouldn’t hesitate to consider applying.
“I would say to anyone who is thinking about applying to be an ambassador, just go for it,” she said. ”It’s nice being surrounded by 50 other kids who are academically driven and want to be good leaders. And it provides you with so many opportunities whether it’s preparing for college or just being a better person in general.”