Members of the Youth Impact Program visited Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 18, 2021.
The Youth Impact Program is a community outreach program designed to partner with universities and NFL teams across the United States in order to help promote positive development in middle school students.
“There’s all kinds of things going on,” said David Watson, Amphitheater Public Schools teacher. “We are exposing them to the university and also exposing them to the armed forces, which lets them know that there’s more out there than just that little section of town they’re in.”
This is the first time a U.S. Air Force base hosted the Youth Impact Program. By partnering with the University of Arizona, Airmen were able to showcase their occupation and pass on their mentorship skills to the young students.
“I think giving them positive role models both at the athletics center and in the armed forces is huge,” Watson said. “I think we’re going to see a lot of positive change.”
By sending experienced non-commissioned officers to augment the mentorship and training provided by the program staff, the program educated students on the core values that Airmen live by.
“The reason why this program came together was to give athletic kids another avenue,” said Tech. Sgt. Brittany Gudino, 355th Maintenance Group Training Management section chief. “We give them leadership opportunities to learn how to make correct choices, so when they’re out there in the schools they know integrity and accountability.”
Airmen go through basic training and technical training in order to become the best of the best. In visiting Davis-Monthan, these students are able to see what that truly means and hopefully inspire them to want to serve.
The youth of this community will influence and impact future generations in Southern Arizona and across the nation. In order for them to have a positive impact, it is crucial to start them off with good role models. The Youth Impact Program, as well as the Air Force, is making sure they have necessary resources and role models that their community and our nation will need in the future.