The Coleg Cymraeg has appointed the first ever School Ambassadors in secondary schools across Wales to help promote the benefits of Welsh-medium education.
The 14 ambassadors from years 12 and 13 who are part of this year's pilot are based in seven secondary schools across Wales. They will begin their work this month. Their main role as ambassadors will be to raise awareness of the benefits of Welsh-medium university education among their fellow pupils. They will encourage them to join the Coleg and apply for the scholarships, be proactive on social media and share important messages for the Coleg.
Elin Williams, Marketing Manager at the Coleg Cymraeg said: “Although the Coleg Cymraeg has a very successful and well-established ambassador scheme in universities, this is the first time we have had a School Ambassador Scheme. We look forward to working with ambassadors who are passionate about the Welsh language who will inspire their peers at school to continue their education through the medium of Welsh at university and beyond.”
With the recent challenges that have faced everyone, Coleg staff have not been able to visit schools to have conversations with year 12 and 13 pupils as usual. As well as the new digital sessions, this pilot will be a way of maintaining a close relationship with pupils as well as providing them with valuable experiences and skills. The Coleg will work with pupils from Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy, Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth, Ysgol y Preseli, Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd and Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni.
Gwenno James, an ambassador from Ysgol y Preseli, said: “I wanted to be a Coleg Cymraeg School Ambassador because I want to see more people enjoying studying through the medium of Welsh and being eager to use it on a daily basis. I want to highlight to people how the Welsh language can open so many doors to the future, because employers appreciate having bilingual workers. I also want to show how education through the medium of Welsh is going to have a positive impact on everyone's lives beyond school, university or apprenticeship, in the world of work.”
And Harvey Llewellyn-Griffiths, an ambassador at Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, said: “I come from a non-Welsh speaking background, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to learn Welsh at school. I'm enthusiastic for people to study through the medium of Welsh if they already have the language. Being an ambassador is a good opportunity to promote the language and get more people studying through the medium of Welsh. Not many people know about the benefits of studying through the medium of Welsh, and I think if someone explained it to them, more people would consider studying through the medium of Welsh.”
The Coleg has appointed up to three ambassadors from each school to take on the role of Coleg Cymraeg Ambassador for the academic year 2020/2021. It is hoped to extend the scheme to all schools over the next two years.