FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2022
Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District Develops Downtown Youth Ambassador Program
Programming connects public school professionals with youth in Downtown
ST. LOUIS – The Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District (CID), in coordination with consultant Captain Ron Johnson, will provide a program on weekends that is designed to connect representatives from St. Louis Public Schools, including counselors, teachers, and other professionals, with youth while visiting Downtown St. Louis.
The Downtown Youth Ambassador Program will provide an approachable and authoritative adult figure to engage youth that they observe Downtown in non-confrontational conversation and suggest best practices for enjoying Downtown responsibly.
“The Ambassadors are not here to tell [kids] what to do, they’re here to make sure [kids] can enjoy themselves in a safe manner,” said Captain Ron Johnson, CID consultant and architect of this program.
The program was developed in response to large numbers of youth gathering in Downtown last Summer, not having other activities available to them. Captain Johnson met with Dr. Kelvin Adams, Superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, to discuss how the CID could better serve the youth of our community.
“We need to have people in place who really understand the youth in our community and where they are at this stage in their life,” said Johnson. “Who better than the school’s trained personnel who see them every day … and because of that engagement there is a sense of respect that goes both ways.”
The Downtown Youth Ambassadors wear casual clothing with reflective orange vests as identifiers.
“The connections CID Ambassadors make will serve as another building block for our youth in learning accountability skills and respect for their City,” said Kelli McCrary, CID Executive Director.
The Downtown Youth Ambassadors will be assigned to high activity zones within the CID boundaries on weekend evenings.