SAN DIEGO–The District Attorney’s Office is partnering with the San Diego Junior Ambassadors to support its “Exposure 2012” program, which is currently providing an educational trip for inner-city youth to New York City and Washington, D.C.
For many of the Junior Ambassadors, this is their first time on a plane or traveling outside of California. The trip exposes the teens to journalists, lobbyists, embassy officials, and members of Congress. They participate in a variety of hands-on activities, workshops, and seminars. The Junior Ambassadors will also debate with peers across the country.
“San Diego Junior Ambassadors is a great example of an organization that’s giving our kids opportunities to learn about the world beyond their neighborhood. It’s an educational program that also has a preventative component, working to keep young people out of the criminal justice system,” DA Dumanis said. “Exposing our kids to civic engagement is important to their self-esteem and shows them what they can accomplish in the future.”
The Junior Ambassador program formed in 2010 through the San Diego Coalition of Churches and Communities in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The students are committed to community service here and abroad. The San Diego Junior Ambassadors participate in various service learning activities throughout the community including feeding the homeless and organizing fundraising events for youth in crisis.
“Becoming an Ambassador has been a life changing experience,” said 17-year-old Dainera Nathan of City Heights. “It has opened my eyes to many things. During this trip, I plan to keep an open mind and gain as much knowledge as possible. I plan to bring back the skills that I have learned and apply them in my community.”
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office provided $5,000 in financial support to the San Diego Ambassadors for the trip—money that was seized from criminals such as drug dealers and awarded to the Ambassadors through the DA’s asset forfeiture funding.