Security forces educates, inspires Misawa youth

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Misawa youth could be seen donning "drunk" goggles, holding various weapons and admiring a military working dog's work during a 35th Security Forces Squadron engagement, June 7.  

The Misawa Teen Center organized the event for its members as part of its Keystone Club, under the Boys and Girls Club of America curriculum. While the club is designed to present youth with character enhancement and leadership opportunities, the MTC utilized this engagement to also inspire.

“These opportunities empower them to support and influence their community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image and respect their own and other's cultural identities,” said Casey Lademann, the MTC director. "We also plan engagements with the goal of inspiring our youth by showcasing future job opportunities they may decide to pursue."

The Keystone Club conducts activities in three areas including academic success, career exploration and community service.

The most recent project topic, law enforcement, taught students how to gain a positive relationship with police.

“Our main goal was to showcase law enforcement in a positive manner and diminish any stereotypes teens may have,” said Alecia Pasquin-Onderko, the MTC child and youth programs assistant. “Teens tend to have the misconception that law enforcement are only here to get them in trouble; however, after interacting with [SFS] they have an optimistic outlook of what they do and how they help.”

The MTC first gathered the teens' thoughts and opinions they had on law enforcement, then coordinated the informational event with SFS with different activities to ensure the members could formulate a more educated outlook.

“I was really surprised that we had the opportunity to handle the weapons and see a demonstration from the dog team,” said Joseph Ray, a Keystone Club member.

“Overall this program is beneficial to my education and growth as I continue to mature,” Ray continued. “I enjoy how [dynamic] the curriculum is; I come in excited to see what they have in store for us to learn next.”