Ambassadors do it all for the Community
The name ‘Ambassador’ in San Angelo has become widespread. You may see them at the Roping Fiesta, the Claybird Shoot, the Parade of Lights, or any of a number of other community events throughout the year, but the real highlight of the Ambassador year is at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
Twelve riders on a horseback drill team and 11 girls in the non-drill group do public relations and provide entertainment throughout the two-week event, circling the arena holding up sponsor flags and directing children on the coliseum mutton busting.
The girls are all between 14 and 24, and have been hand selected from a group of hopefuls at annual tryouts. While the Ambassador program was initially created to involved young women in the rodeo and promote the western way of life, the scope has grown considerably over the years and the girls’ faces are now known throughout the community.
“If you walk around with a jacket, people already know who you are,” says Mackynzie Wood, who has been an ambassador for the past two years. “They’ll come up and ask for pictures or autographs, it’s pretty cool,” another girl chimes in. They mention being pointed to in public spaces and serving as role models for children, who often look their way when out dining with their families or strolling through the mall.
“[The most exciting part is] to see that all the little kids look up to you,” Laura Choate, a first-year Ambassador said.
“You feel more confident with yourself and you feel like you can talk to people and don’t be shy, come out of your shell. It helped me a lot,” Wood chimed in, mentioning that her favorite part of the rodeo is the cowboys.
Sydney McGuire, a first-year Ambassador, says she’s always wanted to be one. “Whenever I came to rodeo and I saw all the pretty girls dressed up, I wanted to be one,” she said.
But for Charlotta Robinson, it’s all about community. “[I enjoy] being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself and being able to give back to your community in different ways than most people can,” she said.
All four girls grew up in the country and go riding on occasion, they said. The Ambassadors will be present at every rodeo performance this year. Tryouts for next year will take place in March, and further information may be found here.
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