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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 

Amazing Kids! of the Month for July, 2002: 
Ambassadors for Life, Corner Lake Middle School, Orlando, Florida!

Quotes of the Month:

"All kids need to learn to dream positive dreams." 

"The Ambassadors for Life have been a wonderful group of students, working to find appropriate uses for their talents and energies.  I'm really proud of them." 

Lauren Kniepkamp 
Ambassadors for Life Instructor

Do you know what a positive character trait is?  Do you know what kinds of future careers are available to you?  The amazing 6th graders at Corner Lake Middle School in Orlando, Florida, do.  They are featured in the following Amazing Kids! of the Month story for July. And luckily for us, they have created an awesome website to help teach what they've learned! 

Check out their story below, and learn what it means to have a positive character!

Table of Contents 

Amazing Ambassadors for Life
How the Program Began
Related Links

Amazing Ambassadors for Life

The Amazing Ambassadors' visit to Mid Florida Tech

The Ambassadors for Life are sixth grade students at Corner Lake Middle School in Orlando, Florida.  Their mission is to share with other students the importance of good character in our lives today and in the future.

In the program, they explored career options and learned about positive character traits.  To share in their learning, they built an awesome website to help others learn more about positive character traits and to show examples within the adult world.

These traits included: Responsibility, Attitude, Creativity (Amazing Kids! is listed as a resource under Creativity! :-); Caring, Honesty & Integrity, and Teamwork.  The website also includes a Resources page, and a Directory of Related Links.

In the Ambassadors for Life program, as these amazing young Ambassadors studied each character trait, they found a business or industry that showed examples of that trait.  Then they interviewed people who worked in or managed that business to get their advice and an adult perspective.  For example, for the "responsibility" trait, they took a field trip to Mid Florida Tech to learn about Responsibility at a school:

While they were at the school, they got to see a "What's My Line" panel, a presentation by Ms. Connie Ottman (Marketing, Merchandising and Parts Operations instructor) on responsibility for employees and students.  They took a group tour to the Culinary Arts, Drafting, Diesel, EMT, and Fire Fighting classes. To top off their trip, they got to see "Big Yellow," one of the trucks from a James Bond movie, and try on the bunker gear and breathing apparatus used by fire fighters!

The Ambassadors also got to visit other cool places like NASA, the University of Central Florida, Valencia Community College and Full Sail

The Ambassadors for Life at Columbia Elementary School

Finally, these hard working young Ambassadors had the chance to demonstrate their positive character traits such as responsibility, positive attitude, caring and teamwork,  when they mentored the 5th graders at a local elementary school, Columbia Elementary School!  They taught them what they had learned about careers in the Ambassadors for Life program!  Way to go, Ambassadors!  Now that's teamwork!  See some pictures of their visit here:

You can also check out their website to learn about careers in Arts & Communications, Business, Management, & Technology, Health Services, Human Services, Industrial & Engineering Technology, Natural Resources & Agriculture...and to see which careers you might be interested in!

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How the Program Began

Lauren Kniepkamp, amazingly dedicated Ambassadors for Life Instructor talks about how she helped to get the program started:

I was the SAFE coordinator at Corner Lake Middle School.  I had formed a friendly alliance with the director of technology at our school, Jamie O'Neal.  I'm fascinated by computers and websites and all the possibilities.  Jamie was taking her helpers to the local university to show them what was in store for them if they kept going on their current course.  It occurred to me that all kids needed to learn to dream positive dreams.  When the Learn and Serve grant surfaced at school, I volunteered to help with the writing.  Fortunately, the group liked my idea about creating opportunities for high risk kids.  We won the grant and suddenly, I found myself teaching a rambunctious group of 7th graders in addition to my full time duties as SAFE coordinator.  The experiment was a success, but I wanted more.  I asked the principal to allow me to identify 40 incoming 6th graders who needed TLC (tender loving care).  I was given an assisting teacher and two adjoining classrooms - one of them filled with computers online.  We were to teach everything but P.E.

"With so many computers, we decided that a website was going to be an important part of learning and sharing.  Hence, the Ambassadors for Life website.   I taught much of their material online, creating a class website which included resources, online tests, and daily chatter.  Much of my teaching preparation included surfing for treasures - like the Amazing Kids! web site! Students learned keyboarding, Publisher, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Internet exploring skills.  Together with several parents, we brainstormed places we could go and things we could do to learn about and develop character skills.  Ambassadors from year #1 actually went to the 5th grade at a feeder elementary to teach what they had learned about careers.  The sixth grade Ambassadors simply had too much on their plates to physically visit the elementary, though that would be a great way to expand the program. We did, however, complete a video about responsibility which will be distributed to our feeder schools and which will be used for incoming students at Corner Lake Middle School in the Fall."

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The Ambassadors for Life Character Education and Values site:

Corner Lake Middle School homepage:


Note: The CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition will celebrate “American Character Week” from September 6-14.  Here's how you can get involved:

Just for Teachers!  Free character counts teaching tools!

CHARACTER COUNTS! excellent links page:

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!

Here's an idea you might want to try:


If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: .


  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!


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