Youth sponsorship program helps keep you informed

by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Moving to a new duty station can be an exhausting experience for all members of a family. The service member is often given a sponsor to aide with the transition, but moves can be even more stressful to the children in the family. For that reason, the 86th Force Support Squadron developed the youth sponsorship program.

The new program is designed to help teens and pre-teens get a head start on what to expect at a new place, by communicating with others their age at the new place the family is moving to.

The program helps connect the sponsors to the sponsees prior to their arrival, so they can get answers to questions about school, teachers, youth program activities, cultural experiences, and other aspects of living in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

The program takes teen and pre-teen volunteers involved with the Ramstein or Vogelweh youth and teen centers.

“The YSP can be a lot of fun and a way to meet others that you might not meet otherwise,” Ruth Radloff, 86th Force Support Squadron youth programs and school age care manager. “Sponsors get to know the new youth and help them get settled.”

The program also helps reduce social-emotional stressors and allows the youth to focus their energy on academic success.

“A specific impact is seen in high school seniors moving mid semester, who now find themselves surrounded by peers and staff who provide assistance in scholarship writing and college applications process,” said Andrea Hoover, 86th FSS Vogelweh youth programmer. “This is a crucial part of a young person’s life as they transition into adulthood.”

Youth sponsors also gain valuable job skills as they foster communication, leadership, and a sense of responsibility working with incoming youth.

For more information, or to volunteer for the program, please contact the program specialist or teen coordinators at the Ramstein and Vogelweh youth and teen centers at:
Ramstein Pre-Teens: 480-6444 or 06371-47-6444, Danielle Stacks
Ramstein Teens: 480-3099 or 06371-47-3099, Angela Roberts
Vogelweh Pre-Teens: 489-6504 or 0631-536-6504, Andrea Hoover
Vogelweh Teens: 489-6155 or 0631-536-6155, DeeDee Bailey