LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Laughlin personnel seeking to demonstrate the definition of service while positively empowering the youth of our local community now possess an avenue to volunteer their time and experience.
The ‘Building Up Dynamic Del Rio Youth Program,’ or BUDDY program, is now entering its fourth year of enlisting base personnel to provide guidance and mentorship to children across all ages in the San Felipe-Del Rio School District.
Janet Johnson, the Laughlin school district’s liaison officer and coordinator of the BUDDY program, organized the program after seeing a shortfall of mentors in the community’s schools.
After discovering willing mentors at the time, Johnson decided to organize the program, give it a name and bring the mentors all under one roof to help streamline the process of getting them to the campuses.
“When I visited the campuses I noticed they would always ask if there was mentors that could come out and visit with the kids,” said Johnson. “There were two or three campuses were always asking and I told them I’m sure there’s something we can do.”
The goal of the BUDDY program is to provide positive mentorship that reaches both to the school environment and home life and to be a figure of encouragement to the community youth during tough life events.
“It’s about having the ability to impact the student’s life,” said Johnson. “But also showing them options of what hard work and determination can fulfill for the student.”
Mentors interested in the opportunity can expect to meet with their ‘buddy’ at least once a week at their school or after school events, but are also encouraged to visit more frequently.
The need for mentors doesn’t stop at base Airmen, it also expands to any personnel interested in volunteering their time.
“This opportunity is open to anybody out here: civilians, contractors, military, spouses, whomever is interested in being a mentor to the students within the school district,” said Johnson.
Any personnel interested in volunteering can contact Johnson at 298-4788 or by contacting the Child Development Center main line at 298-5419.