Mission Statement Our PeopleCoach Profiles Contact Us

Mission Statement:

Young Ambassadors’ mission is to promote leadership, academic excellence, and cultural diversity for students in the local communities.

Young Ambassadors started in 2009 with the idea to start a non-profit organization centered on the belief that all children have the ability to reach their highest potential and be successful, if they are given the opportunity to develop their confidence, enhance their communication, and build leadership skills. 

Since its launch, Young Ambassadors has been able to offer multiple youth leadership, public speaking, debate, cultural awareness, and second-language learning sessions to students from all grade levels. Besides offering invaluable courses on these subjects, we also sponsor many cultural exchange events and public speaking competitions for our students.   

More than 300 students have gone through our programs! Currently, we are offering programs in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Northern California. In the coming years, we will continue to expand our program to include students from more communities across the globe. Our students can and will become true Ambassadors and influential leaders in the future. 

Our People 

Smiley Adams, Board Director, M.S. from John Hopkins University, a successful business person, father, and philanthropist. He strongly believes that every child should be given a chance to succeed.  One’s success is not defined by how much money he or she has, but rather through happiness by helping others towards success and fulfillment.   

Jay Wu, Board Member, since graduating from Texas A&M University with a Ph.D in Physics, Jay Wu has become a noted research scientist in his field and awarded numerous research grants from National Sciences Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a principle investigator in the field of superconducting magnet design and development. Currently he promotes science education and academic excellence for high school students as well as college students in California.  

Hellen Whistler, Board Member, Retired stay-at-home mom, was a Girl Scout and Boy Scout parent leader.  Hellen has been an active volunteer in the local community. She strongly believes that it takes a village to raise a well-rounded child.   

Lilly Yu, Director, an M.B.A.from Loyola Marymount University, was a professor, an editor, TV host, Senior Consultant at Accenture and a contributor of the best selling book The Process Edge.  Her motto is that life is so beautiful; let’s use it to do great things. Lilly thinks all children are smart and have leadership talent.  With proper tools and training, they all have the potential to become an influential person and lead a successful and fulfilling life.  

Lauren Gorski, Program Manager, B.A. of English with Emphasis in Creative Writing from UC Irvine, active volunteer in national youth organizations, award-winning writer with work featured in many literary journals. She has always been passionate about working with youth and loves helping students realize their own potential.  

Mario Arzate, Technical Advisor, B.S. of Mechanical Engineer from Arizona University, a proud father of two beautiful girls.   

Coach Profiles   

Coach Samantha  

Samantha is a student at California State University, Fullerton, and will be graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Political Science and then working with State Legislation. She really enjoys working with students in public speaking, a skill necessary to their future success. 

Coach Belinda 

Belinda is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis. As she describes herself – Outgoing. Youngest of 5. Hispanic mix. Addicted to nail polish. Essentially, her life defines diversity. And with diversity, comes the importance in knowing how to express it to others. Young Ambassadors Organization allows her the opportunity to lead our Young Ambassadors in understanding the importance of expressing who they are, and she is grateful for the chance to do so! 

Coach Steven 

Steven was born and raised in Irvine, California. He has earned his associates degree from Irvine Valley College and also competes for their speech and debate team. His summers are spent working as an ocean lifeguard for California State Parks. The only thing he loves more then the ocean is teaching because it provides the forum to apply real world knowledge to the class room setting. 

Coach Arthur  

Arthur Johansen is a graduate of Pepperdine University with over 10 years experience working with youth. He has founded performance and youth groups including Hello Kid Actor, a company that directed and educated children in theater production. He has been involved in Toastmasters, local as well as international theater productions, and as a Life Skills Trainer. Outside of Young Ambassadors, he is a Youth Education Series Facilitator in which he teaches students the importance of leadership at the Disneyland Resort. 

Coach Brandon  

Brandon is a student at California State University, Long Beach and is earning his bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He has earned multiple awards for speech and debate including for Parliamentary Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, and more. 

Coach Joel  

Joel is currently a student at California State University, Fullerton and is earning a dual bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy with a minor in Chicano Studies. He competes in policy debate tournaments with the CSUF team. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.  

Coach Mikah 

Mikah has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine in Sociology with a specialization in psychology. She is currently earning her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She loves basketball and earned many awards at UCI for her time on the collegiate team.  

Coach Megan 

Megan graduated Cum Laude from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelor’s of science degree in Secondary Education. She has worked in high schools not only in the United States but also abroad in Australia. Besides working with youth, she enjoys volunteering for AmeriCorps and the Humane Society. 

Contact Us

Email Us: [email protected]

By Phone: (714) 803 – 9200


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