The annual safe student ambassador program started this afternoon, teaching school leaders how to make a difference at their campuses.


Mario Coss, master trainer with the Community Matters for Safe School Ambassadors Program hopes students will leave with one main takeaway.

"That it matters," he said. "That it matters how we treat each other, that there are both short term and long term consequences of mistreatment and I can do something about it to make my school be a better place."

About 400 recruited students from nine private schools and one public high school participated in the two-day training that was hosted for the sixth year by the Judiciary of Guam in partnership with the Guam Department of Education. This program is federally funded through GDOE's consolidated grant.

"We empower the youth to be able to come in, we teach them during a two day training the types of skills that they need there are about six different types of skills that they can use to help them to develop them to be able to also intervene with their friends and those that they haven't influence over," Court Project Manager Joleen Respicio said.

This allows students who are the bystanders to be the upstanders, she said.

The instructors taught bullying and violence to encourage a positive school climate through concrete skills and practices. One activity, in particular, that's called "Just by Looking."

"It gives the students a chance to sit together and share and talk a little bit about their own personal life experiences," trainer Shay Olivarria said. "And once they find out that they have actually more in common than they would have originally thought it creates, I don't know this weird bond. Where I feel like they just gel after that."

KUAM spoke with student ambassadors who tell us they feel inspired after the first half of today's training.


"I've seen my fair share and one of the things that really hurts is realizing I haven't done too much to make a difference," Nathan Sala, St. Paul Christian School senior said. "I haven't always intervened when I should have and so it really opened my eyes to that."


"I'm planning to take back all the things I learned and use it to good use and to make people change to how they are and act so they could help each other," Lance Naputi, Southern High School sophomore said.

"We should try and understand each other and see where we all come from," Southern High School Freshman Chase San Nicolas said. "We are one of the only public schools here and we are trying to set off a good example."

"The actions that you take tend to inspire other people so I hope to set an example for underclassmen," Academy of Our Lady of Guam senior Raemier Javelosa said. "I did not expect to be part of this program so I am very honored to be able to find some means of learning how to be better as a leader for my school."