Commentary

August 17, 2012

Youth programs combat negative influences

Commentary by Kimberly Gilman
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

 

 

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) – (Editor’s Note: See related article on Nellis AFB’s program –Youths Club Beyond in this week’s issue.) If you have children, especially teenagers, you already know the harrowing statistics that illustrate the dangers they face in the world today. Daily we see news about kids left to their own devices after school who have taken the wrong path in life.

Air Force youth programs help combat potentially negative influences in our kids’ lives by providing healthy, interesting, educational and fun activities where they can channel their creative energy.

Air Force wide, more than 63,000 kids between 6 and 18 participate in Air Force youth programs including sports, fitness, arts and technology, leadership opportunities and outdoor adventures. Those kids are thriving in an environment focused on enabling them to reach their potential and achieve their personal dreams. Our adult staff members work to help participants grow and develop into confident young adults, artists, athletes, leaders.

Past participants have used what they learned as Air Force youth program participants to seize their dreams. From a full scholarship to Marquette University to participation in the Miss USA Pageant, our kids are excelling in their chosen fields. More than a dozen Teen Aviation Camp participants have been accepted into the Air Force Academy.

Others, as participants in the Youth Employment Skills program, have learned career skills, supported their communities as volunteers, and earned cash toward their post-high school academic or training pursuits. While they earned money for their own educational needs, their participation in YES also earned money for their home base youth programs, enabling them to benefit personally and pay it forward as well. Many YES alumni today are serving in military leadership roles, pursuing graduate degrees and mentoring others in communities around the country.

This summer, more than 250 installation teens attended and all-expenses-paid trip to participate in Close Up Washington D.C., a nonprofit program established in 1971 that educates and inspires young people to become informed and engaged citizens. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the teens who attended, and typical of the developmental programs for Air Force youth.

In an increasingly perilous world, Air Force youth programs offer a healthy alternative to the detrimental, self-destructive activities we so often hear about in the news. Under the loving guidance of our staff, your kids will make connections with others of similar and varying experiences, and they’ll have opportunities to stretch their wings, learn about themselves, pursue their gifts, and grow into tomorrow’s leaders.

Contact your installation youth programs for further information about local opportunities. For more information about Air Force youth programs and other quality of life programs, visit www.usafservices.com or www.myairforcelife.com.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>