The Center for Research on K-12 Adventist Education (CRAE) launched a brand new initiative in February 2015 called Ambassadors for Adventist Christian Education (AACE), an organization created to recruit, organize, and support volunteers for the K-12 Adventist educational system. The catalyst for AACE was the number of people who would approach me after my presentations on Adventist education and ask me what they could do to help. I realized that there were passionate people out there, committed to supporting Adventist education, who simply needed direction and guidance to channel their energy into helping one of our schools.
Upon receiving funding from Versacare to help with initial start-up expenses, I began working on building AACE from the ground up. AACE has three different categories—Local Chapter Ambassadors, Ambassadors at-Large, and Institutional Chapters. Each of these categories have slightly different roles, but the goal remains the same for all Ambassadors—championing the benefits of Adventist education to churches and communities and using their specific skills and areas of expertise to support schools.
I have been delighted by the response I have already received; both La Sierra University and Pacific Union College are on board as Institutional Chapters, and the database of Ambassadors-at-Large continues to grow. The support for AACE has been impressive. People from all different walks of life—retired educators, successful professionals, stay-at-home parents—have said, “Sign me up! I want to help!”
The different ways that Ambassadors are volunteering are as varied as the individuals themselves. One Ambassador is helping a school to create its own YouTube channel; another Ambassador is an experienced grant writer and fundraiser and has volunteered to help schools seek funding for their various projects.
If you or someone you know would be willing to serve as an Ambassador, please check out the AACE Web site at: aace.lasierra.edu or call (951) 785-2997 for more information.
Elissa Kido, Ed.D., is the director of the Center for Research on K-12 Adventist Education at the School of Education at La Sierra University in Riverside, California.