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Sponsorship program helps youth transition

A student smiles at the camera during the Lights on After School open house event, October 26, 2016 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Lights on Afterschool is a project dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality programs.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alaysia Berry/Released)

A student smiles at the camera during the Lights on After School open house event, October 26, 2016 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Lights on Afterschool is a project dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality programs.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alaysia Berry/Released)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Moving to a new base can bring an entirely new stress to not only the servicemember but to the family as well.

As a military member there are a number of resources to assist in the transition to a new base, to include a sponsor, but what people may not know is the same assistance is available for their children.

“By connecting prior to arriving, youth get an idea about the schools, teachers, youth program activities, and other aspects of the base and local community,” explained Cassaundra Grace, 366th Force Support Squadron Child and Youth Programs flight chief.

Comparable to the servicemember’s sponsorship program, the Youth Sponsorship Program provides a smooth transition for pre-teens and teens as they move from bases and schools by giving them an idea of what to expect, she continued.

“I was more comfortable having a sponsor to show me everything and better prepared to meet new people,” said Jasmine, a newcomer to Mountain Home AFB.

She went on to explain that being a part of this program has led her to want to become a sponsor and help the incoming children with their transition here.

Being a sponsor is a volunteer opportunity for children who have experienced a move or have been here for a while, and allows them to share their experience and assist a newcomer through the process.

“Getting to show others about the exciting things at the Youth Center is fun,” said Ava, Youth Center sponsor. “It makes me happy to make others feel comfortable.”

The success of the program was expressed by a number of children, but one trait stayed unanimous—they make a new friend.

You can find more information about the Youth Programs and Youth Sponsorship by visiting https://mhafbfun.com or by contacting the Youth Programs at 208-828-2501.

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