Model representatives

Dave Schwab

Fri October 30, 2015 2:44pm

A South Bay Realtor has begun a youth program teaching young people the value of contributing toward the betterment of their communities.
South Bay Ambassador Program (SBAP), begun more than a year ago by Angelica Wallace, an agent with Realty Executives Dillon with offices in Chula Vista and Eastlake, is making great strides in performing volunteer work throughout South Bay.
Since its inception, the nonprofit has participated in the Chula Vista Relay For Life battling cancer, helped out with the Provence House Grand Re-opening, aided Chula Vista Sunrise Rotary in putting together 18,000 meals for Rotarian at Work Day, taken part in the 15th annual Day of the Child Community Fair at Memorial Park and joined in the Third Avenue Village Street Fair.
Wallace, founder and president/CEO of SBAP, was born in Panama, raised in New York and moved to California to be with her active-military husband, three children and three rescued dogs.
For more than 12 years working in real estate and specializing in first-time homebuyers, Wallace said she “enjoys helping homebuyers and seeing the joy in their faces” when they purchase their first home.
Active in volunteer work in South Bay for more than three years, Wallace believes “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Wallace began the youth ambassador program to lead by example in modeling behavior youth can emulate.
“The ambassador program gives youth an avenue to serve and give back to the community in which they live,” Wallace said.
Toward that end, in the inaugural year of the ambassador program, Wallace said 10 young women have contributed in meaningful community service on a broad range of fronts covering a wide swath of communities in South Bay from Coronado to San Ysidro.
“These young women have helped in a number of causes including raising funds and building awareness in the fight against cancer,” Wallace said adding she intends to expand the number of youth volunteers participating.
“Next year we’d like to have 38 volunteers, ages 9 to 24, as well as including males,” Wallace said adding parents exposed to the program are also recognizing its potential.
Wallace said her youthful ambassadors are “dedicated to serving their particular communities,” whether that be helping out wiith community events, or filling in wherever else they might be needed.
Youthful ambassadors say they’ve benefited from the program.
Caitlin Costa, 13, of Chula Vista said the program  “has allowed me to meet new people and try new things. It has given me the opportunity to help our community at various events. I enjoy working hard especially when it makes a difference; being an ambassador has allowed me to do that. I am glad to have this opportunity to serve my community.”
Junior Teen South Bay Heather Costa, 15, said “whether we are helping out at the South Bay Community Services, or the local library, my fellow ambassadors and I are making a difference in our community.”
Wallace said SBAP attained nonprofit status about a year ago. That, she added, is an important step toward taking the organization to the next level.
“We’re looking for partners, and sponsors and adult volunteers, as well as youth volunteers from seven communities – Coronado, Bonita, San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Chula Vista, National City and Imperial Beach” she said.
Noting “some kids nowadays feel entitled,” Wallace said parents consequently need to find ways to educate their children about the value of earning their keep. Part of that is teaching them the value of doing volunteer work and working toward a common goal, like helping needy people or fighting cancer.
“Some kids don’t realize how very important it is to give back,” Wallace said. “We’ve got to teach them how to help out.”
For more information visit www.southbayambassadorprogram.org or email southbayambassadors@gmail.com.