BYU seeks to develop students of faith, intellect, and character who have the skills and the desire to continue learning and to serve others throughout their lives. These are the common aims of all education at BYU. Both those who teach in the classroom and those who direct activities outside the classroom are responsible for contributing to this complete educational vision. A BYU education should be:
- Spiritually Strengthening
- Intellectually Enlarging
- Character Building
- Leading to Lifelong Learning and Service
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Young Ambassadors have created the following mission statement:
“As Young Ambassadors we commit ourselves to share the joy and the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through personal worthiness and the expressions of our talents and love.”
In addition to their fast-paced show, Young Ambassadors have the opportunity to perform devotionals throughout the year on a few select Sundays. These performances have religious themes that are appropriate for people of any Christian background and are open for anyone to attend. The current repertoire includes: I Stand All Amazed, As I Have Loved You, I Feel My Savior’s Love, Consider the Lilies, and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The group is accompanied by student musicians on strings and woodwinds with Randy Boothe at the piano.
To schedule a devotional (fireside) for your stake please contact the Young Ambassador President at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Stake needs to be within 70 miles of BYU Campus)
The opportunity to be a part of the Young Ambassador team has many educational benefits. Many Young Ambassadors pursue degrees in the performing arts, but this isn’t a requirement to be a member of the team. Current Young Ambassadors are also working towards degrees including; Business, Communications, Education, Journalism and Linguistics. Every year Young Ambassadors are enrolled in a culture class to learn about the places they will tour to in the spring. As they put effort into learning the culture, history and political situations of their touring destination the team becomes more unified and prepared to adjust their performance and appreciate their their touring experience. Some of the most profound learning opportunities have been found as we interact with people from many locations around the world.
President David O. McKay taught that character is the highest aim of education: above knowledge is wisdom, and above wisdom is character.
“True education,” he explained, “seeks to make men and women not only good mathematicians, proficient linguists, profound scientists, or brilliant literary lights, but also honest men with virtue, temperance, and brotherly love.”
(David O. McKay, “Why Education?” Improvement Era, vol. 70, no. 9 (September 1967), p. 3.)
Young Ambassadors have the opportunity to conduct workshops at various public schools and colleges in conjunction with their performance tours. During these workshops, performing arts skills of singing, dancing and acting are blended with personal interactions in which Young Ambassadors become role models for workshop participants.
In the summer the Young Ambassadors offer a Singing Entertainer Workshop (YASE) for students ages 14 to 18. The camp is only offered for two weeks during the month of July. Many Young Ambassadors began their Young Ambassador journey through this summer camp. Learn more about YASE here.
Current Young Ambassador President, Tanner DeWaal, expressed great appreciation for his YASE experience: “I loved being able to step into a high level of professionalism as we embarked on the challenge of putting a show together in less than one week. Being able to gain more confidence in myself as a person and learn techniques at YASE in performance training have been instrumental to my growth. I am still great friends with a number of people who I originally met at YASE camp. As a person with a passion for performing, there isn’t anything else I would more strongly recommend to a young performing artist than to be a part of this summer camp.”
Every Young Ambassador tour includes long days of performances and outreach activities.
While the technical crew spend their days setting up sound, costumes and lighting, the performers average at least 3 hours in workshops and performances each day. Whether performing in orphanages, hospitals, care centers or government palaces and renowned performance halls, with music and dance as the medium, friendship is the message. As the Young Ambassadors are reminded to “enter to learn and go forth to serve” each time they come to school, they fulfill this counsel for numerous hours on each tour. Check out recent examples of, not only how they represent the university as students, but how they continue to serve the world in their professional careers long after graduation.
Young Ambassadors Making a Difference
Young Ambassador Sharlene Wells was crowned Miss America in 1985. She started an event called Project Gratitude which works to bring wives and daughters of fallen heroes to the Miss America Pageant, where they are treated like royalty. Read more here.
Young Ambassador, Shaun Parry, is the founder and president of Promethean Spark International. This organization reaches out to impoverished youth by teaching life skills through the performing arts. Visit prometheanspark.org to learn more.