At the end of 2020 and into the new year, Identity trained and deployed 72 teens and young adults as Safety Ambassadors. These young people, members of five Identity-run youth centers, completed 40 hours of training on COVID-19 safety protocols, contact tracing, and workforce certifications like HIPAA. Then, they put their skills into practice, working an additional 100 hours sharing information about health, food and other safety-net resources with isolated neighbors.

Young people, ages 14-25, have emerged as a natural resource during the pandemic, with their unique ability to connect with the families of their peers. The Safety Ambassadors say they are proud to be able to help, and grateful to be part of a group effort during this period of extreme fear and isolation. Funded by WorkSource Montgomery and with the help of Wellness Center partners 480 Club and Emerging Triumphantly, we are able to mentor this multicultural group of youth that reflect the demographics of their school communities.

And the work continues, some of the Safety Ambassadors are extending their service by helping the Gaithersburg Cares Hub with weekly food distributions, and at the 480 Club’s Saturday food distribution at Montgomery Village Middle School.