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Engage Toledo ambassadors' application deadline Tuesday

24 people are selected from the pool of applicants to begin training and education.

TOLEDO, Ohio — More than 75 Toledoans have applied to become the next Engage Toledo Ambassadors, but only 24 of them will be selected.

Former ambassador Celeste Felix said the role helped her personally and professionally. She became an ambassador four years ago and she's still using everything she learned today.

Once the new ambassadors are selected through a random lottery pool, they join the academy and commit to weekly meetings for 12 weeks, learn about city facilities in all six council districts and get a behind-the-scenes look at city services.

The education is not just for their own benefit. It helps them combat misinformation.

"When people hear rumor mill or misinformation about a city service or program, they can correct those rumors and correct that misinformation and really educate others," Jenny Jaqua, Engage Toledo's customer service and engagement commissioner, said.

Engage Toledo wants the future ambassadors to inspire Toledoans to love their city. The program also gives ambassadors an experience "that is not offered everywhere," Engage Toledo customer service representative Kalena Harris said.

"Last academy, one lady said, 'I've never even been through a graduation,'" Harris said. "Seeing people's views at the end like, 'wow, I actually enjoyed going through this. I'm glad I signed up for it.' Being able to have people experience something that is not offered everywhere."

Felix said an ambassador's experience is all about the effort you put into it.

"I learned to be more civic-minded," she said. "I learned to be more responsible for some of the things that happen here. I learned to voice my opinion."

Jaqua said it goes deeper than what they learn about the city, though. It's about the bond they form with residents.

"You come together as strangers night one and you end as life-long friends and ambassadors," she said.

The deadline to apply to become an ambassador is Aug. 23.

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