By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cory Asato, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) — Sailors assigned to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific Detachment Puget Sound and Navy and Marine Corps Spectrum Offices Northwest said farewell to Central Kitsap Junior High students during NCTAMS PAC Det. Puget Sound’s Sailor to Student Mentorship Program in coordination with the school’s Personal Excellence through Cooperative Education (PECE) program, May. 30.
This program was envisioned, coordinated and came to fruition during the 2013-2014 school year.
“The program incorporated many hours of planning and coordination with the Central Kitsap Junior High School before any of us could start meeting with the students,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Kristina Griffeth, a native of Copperas Cove, Texas. “This platform was designed to impact students whose parents serve in the military.”
The program connected 21 Sailors to 34 students over the course of five months.
“The students we were mentoring were among transitional ages from children to teenagers so it took a unique approach when giving feedback to their concerns,” said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Brady Keil, from Pierre, S.D. “Being a parent myself of children much younger, I was able to appreciate the outlook of the students who shared an interest in meeting with us.”
CKJH staff noticed the impact that the program has made upon students who participated.
“Some students involved have shown a change since they started meeting with these Sailors,” said Scott Borgmann, Associated Student Body Advisor at CKJH. “One student has made a turn to show more concern for his academics and future, especially looking forward to these bi-weekly meetings.”
The program offered an outlet for students to address issues that they may feel uncomfortable communicating to their parents, who also serve in the military.
“I feel as though I’m being judged whenever I talk to my parents,” said a student. “I really didn’t care about my grades before, but after talking to Chief, I’m inspired to keep striving and even join the Navy one day.”
“I have a daughter around the same age as these students,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Wayne Holloman, a Bishopville, S.C. “I know some children don’t talk to their parents about everything so I appreciate the impact I can make on our youth.”
The program is slated to continue next school year.