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News > Youth Center program offers chance to 'bank' for college
Youth Center program offers chance to 'bank' for college

Posted 10/31/2013   Updated 10/31/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Mark Wyatt
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


10/31/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- The Youth Employment Skills Program, or YES Program, is an on-base youth volunteer opportunity for Air Force dependents to earn money for college. The program is funded by the Air Force Aid Society and jointly administered by AFAS and Hanscom's Airman and Family Readiness Center.

The YES program, offered at select Air Force bases, offers active duty high school-aged dependents an opportunity to learn valuable work skills while having a positive impact on the base community.

"Students must be an Air Force active duty dependent son or daughter assigned to Hanscom Air Force Base," said Robert Rogers, 66th Force Support Squadron teen director. "Students must be enrolled in high school and attend full-time as a freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior. Summer periods are considered as part of the next higher grade level."

The YES Program allows all pre-certified and enrolled high school students the opportunity to "bank" volunteer dollar credits toward their post-secondary education or training at a rate of $4 per hour.

"Hours must be volunteered in an on-base position approved by the base youth director and AFAS headquarters as appropriate for the YES Program," said Linda Ambard, 66th Force Support Squadron Youth Center director.

In addition, the participating base Youth Center will "bank" base community credits at a rate of $2 for every hour volunteered per student, up to a maximum of $10,000 per program year.

The program year is defined as the 12-month period beginning June 1 through May 31.

Chapel-affiliated, thrift store, base retail operations, waitressing and Red Cross positions are excluded. Hours volunteered under a school program, community program or mandated community service program will not qualify as "banking" either student volunteer credits or base community credits under the YES Program.

"Hanscom has an opportunity to raise much-needed money for youth programs by signing up eligible teens in the YES Program," said Ambard. "That money comes back to the Youth Center to benefit a myriad of youth programs."

Students interested in the program must complete the AFAS YES Program enrollment application with a sponsoring active duty parent. Completed applications are submitted to the youth director for initial review and validation.

Once selected for a volunteer position, student and the sponsoring active duty parent must sign a written agreement stating that the student is a base volunteer, not a paid employee.

"Students are eligible to accumulate as many as 250 volunteer hours for a potential of $1,000 maximum throughout the four years of high school," said Rogers.

The AFAS will control check disbursal and verify credits earned per student and the participating base to ensure annual program maximums are not exceeded. A minimum of 25 volunteer hours, or $100 in credits, must be "banked" for any disbursement of funds.

Students must be enrolled at least part-time in an approved post-secondary institution and claim funds no later than one year from date of documented high school completion.

Students are only permitted to perform work up to eight hours per day. Credit will not be given for lunch, breaks or travel time.

For additional information on the YES Program, contact the Youth Center at 781-225-6043.



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