Members of the KMC’s younger community can visit the Ramstein and Vogelweh teen centers for various activities and programs now that school’s out.
The teen center is open to teens aged 13 to 18 and offers them a place to hang out, watch movies, play video games or use the computer lab.
“During the school year, students have the regular recreational programs, and we also have various enrichment programs,” said Mona Hamilton, 86th Force Support Squadron youth programs director. “We also have two main programs, one of which is the Keystone Club, which provides leadership opportunities. We are youth development professionals, so in addition to the fun things, we do also help develop the teens.”
The center not only has leadership opportunities, but gives its members a chance to prepare for future responsibilities.
“The programs we offer help students transition into adulthood,” Hamilton said. “In our enrichment programs they learn how to fill out resumes, how to look for scholarships and learn about how to better themselves through volunteering and health and wellness programs.”
Teens continue coming to the center because of the things it offers.
“I’ve been coming here for three months,” said Ashley Long, daughter of Master Sgt. Michael Long, 2nd Air Postal Squadron. “I keep coming back because my friends come here and because all the different things they offer here.”
These programs are facilitated by the employees at the teen center, all of whom use their different backgrounds to help teens.
“I really enjoy working here. It’s a challenge,” said Jordan Parran, 86th FSS teen program lead. “Teens have a unique perspective, and it challenges how you think.”
With more than a year’s worth of experience, the memory that sticks out to Parran the most is that of two seniors who thought they were headed toward failure and felt they had no options.
“These two seniors went most of the year thinking they would fail. They would come to me and talk about how they could improve and other things they could do,” she said. “Toward the end of the school year, they both ended up finding out they were accepted into four-year universities.”
The Ramstein and Vogelweh teen centers are open from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday. The Ramstein Teen Center is also open from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturdays.