Faces of kindness

Kindness applications close, ambassadors selected

The+school%27s+new+kindness+ambassadors+were+recently+announced.+They+will+be+tasked+with+spreading+kindness+on+campus.

Brooke Luther

The school’s new kindness ambassadors were recently announced. They will be tasked with spreading kindness on campus.

Applications to be a kindness ambassador on campus closed on Jan. 20. Ambassadors were selected and announced on Jan. 22 and will be at work during Kindness Week, Feb. 8 – 12. They will have the ability to reapply annually if they were selected for the position.

The ambassadors are overseen by the kindness program supervisor Gina Karbs. 

“It’s just someone that wants to find the good in others,” Karbs said.

Kindness ambassadors are a group of students who help spread kindness and improve student life at school. They take part in various activities throughout the school year, such as putting up posters and helping out at elementary schools. One of the main events that the ambassadors participate in is Kindness Week, where they perform acts of generosity throughout the school, such as greeting people at the door. 

Outside of scheduled group activities, ambassadors do little things, like handing out lollipops or helping a teacher, to keep spirits up at the school. They can be found holding the door open, picking up trash and generally being kind to others in day to day life.

Sophomore Anagha Remesh was selected as an ambassador in eight grade. She believes that people should be reminded to express goodwill in small ways in their day.

“We have to be the ones to set an example for kindness in our community,” Remesh said.

Karbs hesitates to classify the ambassadors as a club or organization, and says that they are more of a community of kids with the innate desire to help out their school, one small deed at a time. 

“It’s really about the mindset and looking to promote kindness in the school and with others,” Karbs said.

The program first began three years ago as a district project by the Student Advisory Committee. Senior and current kindness ambassador Alsa Khan said that the program aligned well with the goals of the Committee.

“Since this group closely worked with the administration, I learned that the district wanted to launch the Kindness Program and found that it was a perfect way to fulfill the mission we already had in mind,” Khan said. 

 According to Karbs and Khan, LISD Chief of Schools Andy Plunkett gathered Student Council sponsors and members from different schools to collect ideas and kick off the initiative. At first, ambassadors were selected by teachers based on observations and recommendations. Later in the first year, an application process was made to give more students this opportunity. 

The program has reportedly grown since then. As for the application this year, the form has changed some, but is still searching for the same qualities.

“The current application is a form that asks the student applying several intuitive questions to get to know more about them and to see how they will contribute to the program,” Khan said. 

I’m really happy that I’m a part of this. Spreading kindness is really what I love to do.”

— Anagha Remesh, 10

According to Remesh, the position comes with few obligations besides a couple scheduled meetings and activities.

“It’s not really a job,” Remesh said. “It’s more of a role that you perform in your school.” 

Being a kindness ambassador isn’t limited to being a model student at school. Members of the program are encouraged and expected to spread kindness in areas off campus as well, serving as representatives of the school and the program. 

“You try to invoke kindness wherever you go, and try to make that your goal,” Remesh said. 

Over the course of the pandemic, the program has found it difficult to continue its projects and spread kindness the same way. However, according to Khan, ambassadors continue to strive for their goal.

“Since the virtual and in-person students are more disconnected this year, it’s a bit harder for it to have the same impact,” Khan said. “However, that certainly does not mean that the intent has changed. Surely we will find more ways to connect all students.”

As the program has grown over the years, so has its recognition, efforts and projects. The number of new members increases each year, and almost every past member reapplies. Karbs says that she and ambassadors welcome all applicants with open arms. 

“We don’t want just the athletes or just the fine arts kids,” Karbs said. “We want kids from every walk of life.”

According to Remesh, being a kindness ambassador is what many students need to feel accepted on campus. It’s her way to better connect with her peers, school and community. 

“Being a kindness ambassador gave me a role, something I’m looking forward to,” Remesh said. “I’m really happy that I’m a part of this. Spreading kindness is really what I love to do.”