The Student Ambassadors of the McDonell Area Catholic Schools (MACS) has been in existence since the 2005-2006 school year. It was developed by volunteer parent, Mary Jacobson who wanted to provide service opportunities and training in areas of leadership, hospitality, mentoring, and team-building. These opportunities have nurtured personal growth in these 7th through 12th graders who must complete an application, receive two teacher recommendations, and get principal and parent approval. They are required to attend an orientation. Additionally, they are required to participate in a minimum of seven service projects/activities throughout the school year. The development of life skills is ongoing through their many working and training activities.
The mission of the program is "to promote leadership, team-building skills, service mindedness, and personal growth" in the ambassadors but it much more than that. It is identifying the needs of many in the community and reaching out to satisfy those needs respectfully, compassionately and unselfishly. Through their works of charity and service, these students gain confidence, knowledge and leadership skills that they take into their adult lives; regardless of what direction they take. These are skills they will continue to use in their schools, in their workplace, in their churches, in their homes, and in their communities. In achieving their mission, those they serve are the beneficiaries and, while they grow in personal development, the students are also the beneficiaries of their own works.
The participation in the MACS Student Ambassador program has grown from forty-three students the first year to over ninety in the current school year. The large numbers allow the group to do even more good works of service and charity. Last school year the ambassadors in the program provided over 1500 hours of service to their schools, parishes, and community. Much of this volunteer work serves the McDonell Area Catholic Schools and their supporting Catholic parishes. This includes mentoring new students, greeting and assisting with school open houses and parent-teacher conferences, school concerts and assemblies, assisting with office work and working at special school fundraisers.
From supporting the Feed My People organization, working the Agnes Table, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, working with the Boys and Girls Club, assisting at St. Joseph's Hospital, and Christmas caroling in the nursing homes, many of their services has reached out to Chippewa Falls and the surrounding communities. It is difficult to estimate the number of people they have reached through these works, but it can only be estimated at thousands of people of all socio-economic backgrounds.