Say YES to student volunteering

  • Published
  • By Nechel Newton
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
To pull a high school student away from their cell phone, Facebook and favorite television show can be a feat in itself.

However, if you plan to strip them of their outlets for entertainment, why not keep them busy by having them build a good work ethic, develop better people skills and earn some money for their college careers as well?

The Youth Employment Skills program is an on-base youth volunteer program jointly administered by the Air Force Aid Society and Air Force Family Member Programs Flight.

The program provides volunteer opportunities to high school-aged dependents of active-duty Air Force personnel.

If available, students can do jobs at locations like the Airman's Attic, Arts & Crafts, Broadcast Production, Child Development Center, Civil Engineering, Dental Office, Health & Wellness Center and much more.

"What students get out of the YES program is they learn customer service skills, gain confidence and learn the responsibility of doing something for someone else," said Angela Sanclemente, 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant. "They learn skills for life."

YES, which is paid for by AFAS, creates programs that offer students the opportunity of work experience and scholarship money for them to apply for college. Students can work a maximum of 250 hours throughout their high school career.

For every hour they work, participants will receive $4 put toward post-secondary education/training. In addition to each hour that a student works, $2 will be put toward the base youth program for programs offered to the base community, becoming a 'win-win' for all parties.

Zollie Ford, 1st SOFSS teen director, said that YES is more than just showing up to do a job without a proper paycheck.

"The program provides them with the sense of belonging, usefulness, ownership and responsibility in life that they need for the future," he said. "Plus this is my passion--helping young people develop the lifelong skills they need to be successful."

Sanclemente also stated this program is a good way for teens to give back to the military community and lend a helping hand.

"It's good to assist people in need, to support military families and let them know there is people out there who care."

For additional information on YES, contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 884-6100 or the Hurlburt Field Teen Center at 884-6063.