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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | June 19, 2008

YES gives teens work skills, scholarships

By Pacifica Chehy Capital Flyer staff writer

The Air Force Aid Society and the base Youth Center's Youth Employment Skills (YES) program is currently accepting applications for its on-base volunteer initiative for high school students. Underwritten by the Air Force Aid Society, the YES program is a joint effort of the Air Force Aid Society and Services. The program's goal is to provide students the unique opportunity to learn valuable work skills and earn credit toward their vocational or college education while making a difference in the base community.

"The YES program allows students to bank $4 in grant funding for every hour volunteered in an on-base function," said Matrice Adger, Youth Center teen director. "Students may accumulate as much as 250 hours over all four years of high school for a potential maximum of $1,000 toward their future vocational-technical or academic endeavors.

"In addition, the base will be credited with $2 for every volunteer hour to be used in support of the base's youth program enhancement," she continued, "up to $10,000 per year. So, we're trying to get as many youth as we can to get involved in the YES program. We're also trying to get the word out to organizations on base that we have youth who are willing to help."

Ms. Adger encourages parents and teens to look into the benefits of the YES program. "We are giving our youth the unique opportunity to see various career fields. We have volunteer opportunities around the base--even right here at the Youth Center and at the Airmen's Attic," said Ms. Adger.

An upcoming event for which YES participants can volunteer is in the Back to School Outdoor Concert. "The concert will be open to the base youth whether they sing, dance, or have a band. The YES students will be organizing the event and getting the acts lined up. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The eligibility requirements for the YES program are that students be enrolled full-time in high school and the dependent sons and daughters of Active Duty Air Force members.

"This program is a positive avenue for kids to be involved," said Ms. Adger. "Plus they learn different skills like behavior on the job, how to dress for the job, the responsibility to have a job, it's basically gearing them up for the real world while providing the community with a great service at the same time."