YES program helps kids learn life skills

  • Published
  • By Susan Griggs
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
The Youth Employment Skills program is a volunteer internship opportunity funded by the Air Force Aid Society and jointly administered by AFAS and the base's airman and family services flight.

YES allows dependents of active duty Air Force members from ages 13½ to 23 a chance to learn valuable work skills while banking credit for college and having a positive impact on the base.

"YES is a year-round program," said Jeri Peterson, youth director for the 81st Force Support Squadron. "The program is limited to dependents of active-duty Air Force members."

Program participation incentives are in the form of dollar credits for grant funding. The YES program allows all certified and enrolled high school students to "bank" volunteer dollar credits toward their post-secondary education or training at a rate of $4 per hour volunteered in an on-installation position.

"YES is a great program, not only to earn money but to gain valuable work skills for future careers," Peterson explained. "Youth learn skills in time management, responsibility, work ethic and professionalism. Some of our past teens have gone on to join the military, become school teachers and pursue other professions."

Students may accumulate up to 250 hours during their enrollment period, for a potential $1,000 maximum. In addition, the participating installation youth program "banks" base community credits at a rate of $2 for every hour volunteered per student up to a maximum of $10,000 per program year (June 1 through May 31.)

"We are also looking for base agencies willing to put these young people to work," Peterson added.

For more information for students as well as units willing to host a YES volunteer, call 377-4116.