Local eyes B.C. ambassador spot
Eighteen-year-old Shayla Muir-Holder is competing this year to represent B.C. as the province’s ambassador.
For two years, from 2009-10, she wore the sash as Merritt’s ambassador — but a lack of funding shut the local program down.
“This year, I’m going for the B.C. Ambassador,” she said.
“In order to run for that one, you must have held a title in a town.”
Muir-Holder attended several meetings on her way to becoming an ambassador. She also went through a Toastmasters public speaking course.
“You go through and learn the history of your town,” she said. “At the end, you do a knowledge exam and then you go out in your community and do volunteer work.”
She sold 50/50 tickets at Merritt Centennials games and volunteered at Nicola Meadows, a seniors’ home, where she danced for the residents.
Muir-Holder said she continues to participate as an ambassador because it “helps with self esteem, a lot. It teaches you things about yourself that you didn’t really know.”
The change that Muir-holder said she’s seen in herself from the time she started the program to now has been “amazing.”
“It’s just shown me so much and there is so much for me that I never really thought.”
But the program goes further than personal development, she noted.
“It also looks really good on a resume. It shows that you have dedication and it teaches you time-management skills. The bursaries and scholarships are also amazing.”
Muir-Holder graduated last year from Merritt Secondary School and is planning to attend Okanagan College Penticton Campus in September to study for a two-year business administration diploma.
She then hopes to move on to hotel management and ownership studies in Vancouver, which is an option with the ambassador scholarship program.
A pageant is scheduled to be held in Merritt on Aug. 13, 14 and 15. Muir-Holder said she expects to find out if she is the B.C. Ambassador on Aug. 15. She is competing against 14 other people.