Young Ambassadors step up to help support ECCAC

Special to Gannett
Walton Sun

The mission of the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) is to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect children in Okaloosa and Walton counties and restore the lives of child victims. As a non-profit organization, ECCAC operates under a Board of Directors, and in 2018, the Young Ambassadors Board was founded.

Nine Young Ambassadors, comprised of men and women aged 21 to 40, currently serve on the Young Ambassador Board. They support the mission of ECCAC and help to spread awareness through targeted service, social happenings and community outreach.

There are two levels to the Young Ambassadors…

⦁ Young Ambassador Board Members – Consisting of 10 to 15 members, they are involved and are required to attend monthly meetings at Beachworx in Destin, one of the Young Ambassadors’ sponsors. In addition, they also attend one main ECCAC Board meeting a year, as well as planning quarterly social events to raise awareness. There is also a $50 yearly membership fee.

Currently, Whitney Whidden serves as the Young Ambassador Board president and Andrew Franco is the vice president. Other board members are Danielle Barta, Allison Brelia, Ta’ki Brown, Leighann Elliott, Salvador “AJ” Gomez, Alexis Poff and Andy Poveda.

"The Young Ambassadors (YA) are passionate about the work that is done at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center,“ said Whitney Whidden, Young Ambassador president. ”It is our goal to grow the Young Ambassador program by hosting socials, recruiting volunteers, and just being active members of our community on behalf of ECCAC.“

⦁ Young Ambassadors – They are underneath the Young Ambassador Board members and don’t have to attend the monthly Board meetings. Ambassadors are allowed to attend all Young Ambassador socials and are encouraged to attend and/or volunteer at as many ECCAC events as they can. ECCAC likes for individuals to be Young Ambassadors for at least a year before they can join the Board.

This year’s Ambassadors are William Corbin Miller and Carrie Pardue.

In addition to a couple of social gatherings, there have been a number of ECCAC volunteer assignments they have taken on over the past year to include Wiggin’ Out For A Cause, decorating the ECCAC Christmas tree at Grand Boulevard’s annual holiday charity event, and ECCAC’s Gala & Golf weekend.

ECCAC is seeking more Young Ambassadors. To apply, visit and complete the application at the bottom of that page. Or, for more information, call Chelsea Fox, ECCAC Community Development Manager, at 850-833-9237, Ext. 256.