News: AMC holds command-wide leadership training for youth coordinators
Story by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- For the second straight year, Air Mobility Command Headquarters here hosted youth coordinators from across all AMC bases to take part in a Boys and Girls Clubs of America advanced leadership training opportunity.
Twenty-four "hand-selected" youth coordinators were led in training by Sidney Boyd, director of training and professional development for the Southeast and Southwest U.S. for the National BGCA in Atlanta, Ga. He said the training helps the coordinators improve their overall leadership skills in their positions at youth centers and teen centers at their respective bases.
"The training fosters an environment where they can see themselves as leaders," Boyd said. "As part of the training, the participants develop a project for their centers and as leaders, they have to get other people to follow them and help with their projects."
Susan Long, child and youth specialist for AMC and the command coordinator for the training, said this effort also falls in line with AMC's commitment to the Comprehensive Airman Fitness, or CAF, culture.
"This training provides key youth leadership personnel across the command the tools they need to help improve programs at AMC youth and teen centers," Long said, "which in turn will have a positive impact overall for our airmen and their families."
The course was a three-day instructor-led learning event that includes pre- and post-assignments, Long said, which culminates in two months with a project evaluation and professional leadership plan. Project implementation is on-going and youth coordinators were asked to select a project, approved by their supervisor, to focus on during the training.
"These projects help the participants build their leadership skills and in turn the projects help make their centers world class centers," Boyd said. "In this program, leaders are also coaches. We coach them in here and when they get back to their centers, they coach others to make things even better."
Boyd said BGCA began this training three years ago. Every person who leads the training, he said, also has to take the course as a student first. "This gives them a unique perspective on the course and gets that instructor ready for their effort in leading the course," he said.
On the last day of the training, each of the 24 participants provided a short presentation on their leadership projects. Joanne Burch and Ellen Koertig, youth staff from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., each gave their presentation on getting "more parental involvement" in the Grand Forks AFB youth center.
"We have a wonderful staff in our center," Burch said in her presentation. "There are lots of projects which parents can get involved with at our center. It would be an all-around good thing for the children who go there."
Loretta Gaines, from MacDill AFB, Fla., said her project will include building "a program to build self esteem."
"We want our children to walk into the center full of positive self esteem," Gaines said. "This program will also help build peer-to-peer relationships."
From Scott AFB, youth coordinator Perry Huff said he's teaming with others to complete his project called "Operation Together." "It's an effort to bring staff and students closer together," he said.
Karen Hudson said her project for Joint Base Charleston, S.C., will include setting up military teen leadership clubs at different high schools.
"We want to build retention with our teen programs," Hudson said. "This would be one way to do it.
Throughout the training, Boyd said he had a "wonderful group of participants."
"They were all very enthusiastic," Boyd said. "I enjoyed the interaction with this group. From the start to the finish of the training, you could observe the growth in their learning. I think they will continue to grow once they get back and build their projects."
For more on AMC's Comprehensive Airman Fitness culture, visit the CAF Web Page at http://www.amc.af.mil/caf