Fairchild Youth Center’s hard work reaps rewards and awards

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash -- Recently, the Fairchild Youth Center was honored three times for its efforts and achievements in the areas of outdoor adventure programming, daily participation increases, and desire for science, technology, engineering and mathematics outlets.

Through the Youth Center’s affiliation with the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Youth Programs section at Fairchild received a BGCA Honor Award for Outdoor Adventure Programming. The cash amount included in the award was $2,500. The Youth Center was also given a plaque to commemorate the accomplishment. The money will be used to continue and enhance the Outdoor Adventure offerings at the base. The award, received in May 2016, remarked on the Youth Center’s 2015 achievements.

Part of the Youth Center’s mission is to provide outlets for the recreational needs of Team Fairchild’s younger family members. The new financial means available are meant to enhance that mission.

“The thing I liked most about the Outdoor Adventure Program was just being able to spend time with friends and hang out in really cool places,” said Teen Center team member Suzy Shores. “‘Bubble Soccer’ was probably my favorite activity.”

The Teen Center, the partner office with the Youth Center whose mission is oriented toward adolescents, also recently received a $1,000 cash award from the BGCA for efforts to increase average daily participation. The Teen Center added 25 new teens to its enrollment in less than 30 days.

The Teen Center also received a $6,250 BGCA grant in February to upgrade its technology capabilities and to start a robotics program. The grant was used to purchase iPads and robotics equipment in April and May that will be used for STEM camps for summer 2016. The BGCA is a confederation of different clubs throughout the United States. The February grant was enabled by a decision of the Washington state BGCA alliance.

“We took a look at our technology room at the Teen Center and decided that we really needed to upgrade in terms of both hardware and program options for youth, and this grant was able to give us the kick-start that we needed,” said John Smith, Fairchild Youth Programs director. “Combined with the investment in a 3D printer last year, and an Air Force funded purchase of two new iMac computers, we are definitely a few steps closer to realizing that goal.”