Asia Ambler, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, has won the Youth Advocate Award at the first-ever Black Excellence Awards, Binghamton.
The inaugural Black Excellence Awards were held at the Tri-Cities Opera, Binghamton, on June 17 to celebrate “creativity, innovation, and outstanding leadership in the Black community” during a series of community-wide events commemorating Juneteenth.
The nomination for Asia’s award read, in part, “You have excelled in business and in life—throughout one of the most challenging times in our history—and your accomplishments in Broome County have not gone unnoticed.”
According to the event’s organizers, the Black Excellence Awards recognize excellence in Black leadership, arts, business, and community service. As Black Excellence Committee member Shanel Boyce explains, “We found there were not enough opportunities to celebrate the Black community and those who contribute to our community in a meaningful way.”
Winning the Black Excellence Youth Advocate Award is a full-circle moment for Asia. Asia was introduced to 4-H through the Community Improvement Through Youth (CITY) Project, when she was just 14 years old, struggling to fit in and feel accepted in high school. CITY Project was conducted by a team of CCE Broome 4-H educators.
Today, Asia is a valued 4-H Youth Development and Parent Educator for CCE Broome County, serving as the 4-H UNITY (Urban Neighborhoods Improved Through Youth) project coordinator, working with youth people, and helping them find success in college, careers, and life.
Before joining UNITY, Asia was a workforce development educator with CCE Broome’s CareerBound, where she was dedicated to helping out-of-school young adults overcome the barriers to self-sufficiency.
Both CITY Project and 4-H UNITY are part of the Children, Youth,
and Families At-Risk (CYFAR) Program, supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, New York State 4-H, and Cornell University.