News: 21st TSC soldiers bring 'First in Support' attitude to KHS mentorship program
Story by Staff Sgt. Alexander Burnett
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Most soldiers learn the ways of leadership from a very early stage in their military career. They are taught to use their experience, education and abilities to mentor younger soldiers and accomplish the mission. Some soldiers in the Kaiserslautern area will use the same qualities to mentor high school students.
Soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command volunteered for and attended mentorship orientation Nov. 6 at Kaiserslautern High School on Vogelweh Military Complex.
The 13 officers and noncommissioned officers from the 21st TSC’s headquarters and 16th Sustainment Brigade first met with the students they would mentor. Soldiers and students discussed areas they could focus on together to help these high-schoolers improve their grades and prepare for life after high school. Many of the students requesting a mentor have low grade point averages and are seeking a way to improve their academic scores, said Cynthia R. Jackson, the mentorship coordinator for Kaiserslautern High School and a native of Houston.
“It is important for these students to interact with career oriented and college prepared adults who have been in (the students) place,” Jackson said. “These partnerships will give the students a greater ability to strive for college, a civilian career or even a military career.”
After the initial meet and greet, Soldiers and students received a briefing on the responsibilities, benefits and goals of the mentorship program. They looked over the mentorship schedule, discussed how mentors could check their student’s grades on-line and learned the procedure for deconflicting schedules. Students and mentors with experience in the program shared their experiences before the high schoolers were returned to their classes.
“I was involved in the mentorship program last year and it was an amazing experience,” said Sgt. 1st Class Justin D. Puls, the 21st TSC’s senior retention operations NCO and a native of Miami. “It is a very rewarding experience being able to mentor a future leader.”
Finally, the soldiers received a tour of the school. They learned how to sign in to the high school and meet with their student.
“I have been doing some kind of mentorship since I joined the Army, but this is my first time mentoring at Kaiserslautern High School,” said Master Sgt. Dwayne F. Dozier, the 21st TSC’s chief paralegal NCO and a native of Newark, N.J. “I am looking forward to this experience and the opportunity to mentor a young student.”
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