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Students participating in the inaugural Rose City Ambassador Program smile for a photo. Visit Tyler is now taking applications for 2023 participants.

Visit Tyler is now taking applications for its Rose City Ambassador Program which is in its second year. The program is aimed at giving high school students the opportunity to earn community volunteer hours.

The volunteer program is open to all high school students residing in Smith County who enjoy working with people.

Participants in the program will act as greeters at large community events throughout the year. The main events students will volunteer at are Azalea & Spring Flower Trail, Texas Rose Festival, and Azalea District Trail of Lights. Students will also have the opportunity to serve at the Visit Tyler Visitor Center at various times throughout the year, according to Visit Tyler Vice President of Tourism Susan Travis.

Travis said the inaugural year of the program was a huge success and looks forward to the 2023 year.

“We found there was a need in the community to offer volunteer opportunities to students throughout the year,” she said. “The new, revamped program is open to more students and gives students more chances to serve the community and earn their service hours. 2022 was the first year of the newly launched program, and it was a huge success.”

“The students learned so much, and several of them are already looking forward to applying and hopefully serving again in 2023,” Travis said.

Students will earn community service hours, which can be counted on their college applications or for high school requirements.

Students must be academically eligible and go through an application and training process. The deadline to apply to be a Rose City Ambassador is Mon., Jan. 16. The application can be found online at on the Visit Tyler website or at local high school counselor’s offices.

The Rose City Ambassador program has taken the place of Visit Tyler’s Azalea Belle program, which historically happened only during Azalea & Spring Flower Trail and was only open to girls.

A maximum of 25 students will be selected for a one-year term for the program. Students will need to reapply each year after their term has ended.

Applications can be returned Visit Tyler, 110 N. College Ave. Ste. 105, Tyler, TX 75702 to the attention of Susan Travis.

For more information, contact Susan Travis at or call 903-595-7229.


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Multimedia Journalist

Multimedia journalist Jessica Payne covers several counties in East Texas. In 2011, she left her hometown Houston for East Texas. In 2016, she left the 9-5 office routine to pursue a passion for sharing inspiring stories and engaging with the community.