Jr. Ambassadors Leadership Program
Youth Our Future
“Tell me and I will forget, Show me and I will understand, Involve me and I
To educate and inspire our youth about the community in which they
live--learning about and contributing to the needs of the business,
education and family community through Chamber volunteer activities.
Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make
elusive dreams come true.
J.A.L.P. is a philosophy emphasizing the uniquely symbiotic nature of youth
development to community development by situating the two practices in a
common framework. J.A.L.P. combines the natural instincts and desires of young
people, creates change in their surrounding environments-- by developing
partnerships between youth related organizations and community development
agencies to create new opportunities for youth to serve their communities
while developing their personal abilities.
Calendar of Events- 2011-2012
- October 20, 2011 Teambuilding Day
- November 10, 2011 Tour of Police Department
- December 20, 2011 City Government, Council Meeting
- January 12, 2012 Tour of Capital in Sacramento
- February 17, 2012 Fire Safety
- March 15, 2012 Doctors Hospital of Manteca*
- April 12, 2012 South San Joaquin Irrigation District Tour*
- May 17, 2012 Assisted Living Tour Merrill Gardens.
Applications / Forms
Class of 2012
Manteca Chamber of Commerce "Jr. Ambassadors Leadership
Program" Visits Assemblyman Berryhill at the State Capitol.
January 12, 2012, the Manteca Chamber of Commerce "Jr.
Ambassadors Leadership Program" came to visit Assemblyman
Berryhill at the State Capitol. Led by Debbie Morehead, Executive
Director of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce and coordinator of the
J.A.L.P., the group had the chance to visit with the
Assemblyman and even have a photo session with him on the Assembly
Ambassadors Leadership Program is designed to educate and inspire
our youth to work hard for success and to chase their personal
dreams and goals. J.A.L.P. combines the natural instincts and
desires of young people and creates change in their
surrounding environments by developing partnerships between the
students, related organizations and community development agencies
to create new opportunities for our youth to serve their
communities while developing their personal abilities.
program cannot exist without willing participation from
professional in the community.
take some time to reach out and mentor our youth. Help them become professional
adults by clicking the following link. You will learn
more about the program and about how you may get involved:
see how police department works
Cooper Ferris went on Thursday’s tour of the Manteca Police
Department not knowing what to expect.
As a member of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce’s Junior
Ambassador Leadership Program, Ferris – a student at San
Joaquin County’s One Ambition program – figured that he’d
learn a little bit about the facility and some of the things
that officers do during their day.
He didn’t know he’d end up walking away thinking about
becoming an explorer.
“Some of this made me think ‘Hey – I want to do
that,’” Ferris said while working his way through the
department’s labyrinth-like structure. “It’s cool to get
to see things like this from our point of view – we get to
look at things that we wouldn’t normally see, and that’s
really what makes this a lot of fun.
“After doing the ropes course last time and things like this,
I think I’m starting to learn some leadership skills. It makes
me want to venture off and see what kind of careers are out
there in law enforcement – and jobs that involve leadership
Ferris was especially enamored with the “challenge coins”
that Manteca Police Lieutenant Nick Obligacion handed out to
each of the students from the “Avoid the 10” drunk driving
crack-down effort. It is a joint task force between the 10 law
enforcement agencies in San Joaquin County.
With the badges of each of the 10 agencies on the back of the
coin and the rest of it ornately decorated, Ferris stared at it
closely before tucking it safely away in his pocket – exactly
where Obligacion hopes where he and the rest of the students who
visited the department Thursday keep them on a regular basis.
He threw down the challenge that if anyone ever sees him in or
out of uniform around town and they show him their coin and
he’s unable to produce both his motorcycle officer coin and
his SWAT coin he has to buy them a beverage of their choice –
more than likely something off the Starbucks menu.
“It gives them a connection to the police department, and if
they carry that coin with them and they’re thinking that maybe
they’re going to do something that they shouldn’t and they
reach in their pocket and see that and it stops them – then
mission accomplished,” he said. “Getting to work with and
talk with these kids shows them that as officers we’re
approachable and that’s something that’s important.”
Debby Moorhead – the Manteca Chamber of Commerce CEO – sees
scenarios like the one that may draw Ferris into the world of
law enforcement as one of the biggest benefits of the Junior
“I think that it lets them know that there are opportunities
out there for them in careers like police and fire protection
that they didn’t know were there before,” Moorhead said.
“Through this program we’re trying to allow them to explore
different areas and show them what’s out there and what each
of them is capable of achieving.”
Police Chief Nick Obligacion gave me a check from the Police
Chief's Foundation for my Junior leadership program,$500.00
it paid for my group to go to the State Capital. Pictured:
Shaun Ferraro CSO MPD
test team work on challenge course
Jenny Yu checked her helmet, pulled her gloves tight and
eyed the 35-foot wooden pole in front of her.
Then she scaled it without even thinking twice.
Yu – who was on a trip to the ropes course at the San
Joaquin County Office of Education with the Manteca Chamber of
Commerce’s Junior Ambassadors Leadership Program – helped
set the tone for the group’s afternoon outing by
volunteering to the be the first person to tackle the
“catwalk.” It involved scaling the 35-foot pole, walking
across a wooden beam 40 feet to the other side, then falling
backwards back down to the ground.
The Manteca High School junior said that she definitely felt
scared when the time came to step onto the ladder, but the
adrenaline rush that came from doing something so
nerve-wracking had her anxious and ready to do it again.
But the fundamental lessons of the course – using teamwork
and developing trust in order to accomplish a goal –
weren’t lost on her.
“I felt kind of dizzy when I was going up – it was a
feeling that was really different for me,” she said.
“There was a definite sense of accomplishment there. I think
that by doing something like this it makes people more open
because you have to trust the person that’s down there
“I’m ready to go again.”
A group of more than 35 students from Manteca visited the site
on Thursday morning and were led through a series of
team-building exercises before they were ready to take the
next step and start traversing the poles, ropes and pulleys
high off of the ground.
The majority of the students were from the San Joaquin County
one. Ambition program and a handful – including Yu – were
from Manteca High’s Future Business Leaders of America club.
By taking a group of students that wants to thrive through a
variety of activities – team-building rope exercises, mock
city council meetings, meetings with local and regional
legislatures in Sacramento, introductions to the movers and
shakers of the community – Junior Ambassador Leadership
Program Director Debby Moorhead hopes to show that anything is
possible if you put your mind to it.
“This year we have the One program involved and that
includes some at-risk kids, and by doing the things that we do
through this program it shows them as well as everyone else
that you can be a doctor or a nurse or anything else that you
work to become,” she said. “What’s great about this
program is it gives these kids a chance to see what it is that
they can become, and I think that you can see that in how
they’re working with each other today.”
For the first time this year the program has even branched out
beyond the immediate area.
Mario Perez heard such great things about the Junior
Ambassadors that he convinced Moorhead to let his son Jason,
who lives in Elk Grove, to come be a part of the activities.
Perez even suited up in a harness himself and tackled the
“pamper pole” – a 35-foot climb straight up onto a small
platform where he made a leap of faith to latch his hands onto
a trapeze bar roughly 6-feet away from the footing.
“I want him (Jason) to grow and believe in himself and push
himself more,” Perez said. “There are big things like
teamwork in life, and I think this will teach him how to
communicate and brainstorm and think – these are all things
that are key in the business world.”
try on ‘boots’ of Manteca firefighters
Oral Nunis was quick to throw
his hand up when Manteca firefighter Sterrie Mcleod asked for a
Nunis – a member of the Manteca Junior Ambassador Leadership
program – was one of nearly two dozen students that had the
opportunity to train with members of the Manteca Fire Department as
one of their annual activities that allows the students to learn
more about the community in which they live.
Little did he know that he’d be using one of the most important
tools that firefighters have when it comes to saving lives in an
With his helmet firmly attached and his thick turnouts buckled,
Nunis grabbed the hydraulically powered “Jaws of Life” and used
the Hurst spreader tool to separate a door that had been sealed shut
after a collision. After almost five minutes of work holding and
working the heavy machine – with sweat running down his forehead
– Nunis successfully popped the door off of the smashed up car.
“I learned today that you have to be in amazing shape to be a
firefighter,” Nunis said on Tuesday, still trying to catch his
breath from the experience. “There’s a lot of hard work that
goes into doing what they do. I definitely appreciate what it is
that they do for us.”
The program – which is administered through the Manteca Chamber of
Commerce – aims to help produce future leaders in the community by
educating them about where they live and putting them in touch with
both community leaders and civil servants like the firefighters they
met on Tuesday.
According to program coordinator Debby Moorhead, opportunities for
the kids to get to know some of the local firefighters not only
helps open possible future doors in terms of careers, but helps show
them a little bit more about who they have working in their
“I think that some of the kids will come through here today and
they’ll see that maybe this is something that they want to do –
and that’s especially true with the young ladies. They came up to
me and talked about how hard some of the stuff was, but you could
tell how excited they were to do it,” Moorhead said. “We’re so
lucky to have a Fire Department like this here in the community that
is willing to go out of their way to help our future leaders."
Class of 2011
Class of 2010
Class of 2009
May Assisted Living Tour 5/20/09
Commons at Union Ranch
assisted living facilities create a service plan for each individual
resident upon admission. The service plan details the
personalized services required by the resident and guaranteed by the
facility. The plan is updated regularly to assure that the
resident receives the appropriate care as his or her condition
Tip a Firefighter benefited the J.A.L.P. Program they raised
you to the Manteca Fire Department
come to rescue of Jr. Ambassadors
Not even a lack of
firefighters slowed down a fill-the-boot charity event organized
to help youth in the community.
Wednesday evening the firefighters who turned out at Kelley
Brothers Brewing Co. for a fill-the-boot fundraiser had to run out
to respond to a fire call at a local apartment complex – leaving
another crew of firefighters to pick up the slack in the wake of
According to Firefighter/Engineer Travis Gooch, events like the
one held Wednesday – which will support the Manteca Chamber of
Commerce’s Junior Ambassador leadership program – are always
well attended and supported by the community.
“We actually sponsored some of the Junior Ambassador students
over the last year when we welcomed them out and they spent an
entire day with us,” Gooch said. “So when Debbie (Moorhead)
asked our union if there was any way that we could help, we
already knew that it was a good program.
“And the community has been very generous tonight – with the
way that things are right now, it’s more important than ever for
these organizations to receive donations with money drying up, and
people have been willing to step up and do that.”
On top of the cost of their meal and the tip that they leave for
their servers, guests filled the downstairs portion of Kelley
Bros. Wednesday to fill the boot positioned at the front entrance
of the restaurant.
According to Moorhead, the money raised from the event will be
used to help offset the cost of having the Junior Ambassador
students attend the Chamber’s annual installation dinner –
something that they have historically always covered but would
have a hard time paying for with shrinking funds if it weren’t
for fundraisers like the one held Wednesday.
“We’re just so grateful to the firefighters and to the
community for coming out and supporting this event,” Moorhead
said. “We’re blessed to have a community that really cares
about their kids, and it shows tonight.”
For more information about the program, visit the chamber’s
website at www.manteca.org.
Tip a Firefighter May 27, 2009 at Kelley Brothers
March: Media 3/4/09
J.A.L.P. met with channel 31 television reporter Alan Sanchez.
Alan told stories of fun activities he has performed while reporting
for channel 31. It was a very interesting and informative afternoon.
I would like to thank Holiday Inn Express for hosting J.A.L.P.
a good day for Junior Ambassador leaders
Rosas is involved in the Manteca Chamber of Commerce’s Junior
Ambassadors Leadership Program.
A junior at Sierra High, she hopes to someday work in front of a
television camera as a meteorologist.
At Wednesday’s monthly function, Rosas had a chance to meet
Channel 31 reporter Alan Sanchez, who was the “Press Day”
According to Debby Moorhead, chamber director and a Manteca City
Council member, those involved in this youth leadership program
are educated and inspired about their surroundings, using good
planning to develop good decisions for the future.
Last month, for example, students learned about fire safety.
Sanchez, 25, has been a full-time reporter on “Good Day
Sacramento” since March.
He took a unique path in working in the No. 20th television market
in the country – out of 150 – starting as an unpaid intern for
six months and later getting aboard on a part-time basis.
“It’s almost heard of someone hiring an intern as part-time in
this market,” Sanchez told the distinguished group of about 10
high school students.
He grew up poor in the Turlock / Modesto area and was aware
his family would have a hard time paying his way through college.
Sanchez, who wanted to become a TV reporter since the tender age
of 5, instead, went to Modesto Junior College.
It was there that he got a taste of business by taking a TV class.
“I was hooked,” said Sanchez, who soon started at Channel 31
as an intern.
He was up to any task, from eating ice cream in a cold storage
area to jumping in freezing waters.
“I did it all,” Sanchez said. “I didn’t care.”
In between his stints in front of the TV camera, he kept busy by
working a series of jobs. Included was the night shift at a Target
Store and helping out at the recently closed Modesto YMCA.
Sanchez, in fact, juggled both jobs along with “Good Day
Sacramento,” from Oct. 15, 2006 until achieving full-time status
at the Sacramento-based TV station in March.
“I worked every day, including Christmas and the holidays,
without one day off,” he said.
Sanchez’s hard work paid off. But it’s not the money that
“I do what I do because I love it,” he said. “I used
to do it for free.”
Sanchez, who also works for the Stockton Thunder hockey team,
hopes to someday work exclusively in sports as a sideline
reporter. He may even consider dabbling in politics.
Whatever the future holds, Sanchez has enjoyed his work in front
of the cameras.
He’s interviewed plenty of A-list celebrities – singer Gwen
Stefani, actress Jennifer Garner, race car driver Jeff Gordon,
country singer Garth Brooks, the Jonas Brothers, NFL Hall-of-Fame
quarterback Joe Montana, and recording-setting wide receiver Jerry
Rice – and even appeared on the D-list.
Not too long ago, Sanchez was on the Bravo network, “Kathy
Griffin: My Life on the D-List.”
He credits Griffin, host of the two-time Emmy Award-winning
reality show, for making him look good during the segment filmed
February: Fire Safety 2/3/09
The Fire Department hosted a Citizen's Fire Academy on February 3
for members of J.A.L.P. The academy was comprised of both fire
and rescue demonstrations and actual exercises involving
firefighting operations. Participants crawled through simulated
attics, used the "Jaws of Life" hurst tool to cut through
an automobile, and were taken up in the bucket of the new aerial
ladder truck. The session concluded with a luncheon provided
by Firefighters Local #1874.
Thank You Manteca Fire Department!!!!
January: Health and Wellbeing at Doctors Hospital of
J.A.L.P. learned all about Doctors Hospital from the Board Room
to the Emergency Room. We toured the Maternity Ward, Med Surg, X-Ray
Department, CT Scans and Mammogram Machine.
December: City Government City Council Meeting 12/1/08
JALP attended a City Council Meeting and all the members of
JALP received a certificate from the City. Debby Moorhead CEO of the
Chamber was sworn in as a new City Councilwoman.
November: Military Appreciation Day 11/15/08
J.A.L.P. got the inside information on what Military life is really
like. They learned about the ASVAB, scholarships, how to get the
best signing bonus, and if the armed services was right for them.
Photos From October Teambuilding 10/14/08
Venture Up Challenge Course
Venture Up program provides
adventure learning experiences, which challenge individuals to push
beyond their perceived limits, to work effectively with others, to
think creatively about problems, to trust and to have fun.
Thank you to San Joaquin County of Education for sponsoring
JALP and a special thanks to Mick Founts Deputy Superintendent
Pictured: Debby Moorhead CEO, Jeff Zellner Board Member and
Junior Ambassadors Tanya Towner, Lorianne Pettis, Amanda Rosas, Kyle
Dall, Deanna Stuber, Tadaysha Martin, Bridget Castillo, Savannah
Lamb and Kayla Dall. Not Pictured Lynsey Maraspini and Vanessa