Hanscom AFB teen named 2023 Massachusetts Military Youth of the Year

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A member of the Youth Center here is this year’s Massachusetts Military Youth of the Year following a ceremony at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, May 16.

Ben Skorik, a junior at Shawsheen Technical High School, was selected as the installation youth of the year last month. 

“With every step Ben takes, he reminds us that greatness knows no boundaries, and the power of a determined spirit can overcome any obstacle,” said Justin Oliver, Youth Programs teen coordinator.  

The Military Youth of the Year honor is a component of the Boys and Girls Club of America National Youth of the Year program. The program recognizes a Youth Center member who has overcome adversity and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments.

Like many of his predecessors, Skorik has had a positive impact on the Hanscom AFB community.

“The Keystone Club organized a cleanup effort at the [Hanscom AFB] bowling alley recently,” said Skorik, who is currently serving as Keystone Club president. “Additionally, I am helping to organize the Keystone Conference being held in Dallas, Texas, this year.”

The Keystone Club is a teen leadership group for ages 13 to 18. The club focuses on four areas: academic success, career preparation, community service, and engaging teens. With the guidance of Oliver, members aim to have a positive impact on other members, the club and their community.

This year’s youth of the year has also organized volunteer projects off base.

“I took a bunch of our Keystone members in my car to West Roxbury and packed medical supply bags to send to Ukraine,” said Skorik. “That's something I'm really passionate about because I have Ukrainian heritage.”

Beyond his volunteer work, Skorik is an advocate for mental health awareness and support among teenagers.

“His passion for volunteerism and his commitment to promoting mental health are a testament to his character,” said Oliver. “We are immensely proud to have him represent the Hanscom community as the Military Youth of the Year."

Following graduation in 2024, Ben plans to attend college.

“My number one choices right now are Mass Maritime or Nichols College,” he said. “I kind of want to focus on in the business field, more specifically accounting or finance.”

In addition to the honor of being named the Hanscom AFB and Massachusetts Military Youth of the Year, Skorik will receive scholarships to support his future educational endeavors.

He will now move on to compete for Regional Youth of the Year honors in Washington, D.C., in June.

The Hanscom Youth Center offers a wide variety of after-school programs for children 9 to 18 years old. To learn more about the Youth Center, visit https://www.hanscomfss.com/youth-programs.