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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 relocating service members, but their family as well.
  

There are a number of resources to assist in the transition to a new base, to include a sponsor; what many may not know is the same assistance is available for children.

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

Comparable to the service member’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 new youth here.

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

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, a 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.

Additional information about Youth Programs and Youth Sponsorship can be found by visiting https://mhafbfun.com or by contacting the Mountain Home Youth Programs office at 208-828-2501.