Airmen spend time mentoring

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Abbey Rotter
  • 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the South Dakota Air National Guard were recognized at the quarterly technician meeting April 20, 2016 for their volunteering efforts.  Col. Nathan B. Alholinna, 114th Fighter Wing vice commander, received a letter from Lutheran Social Services commending the four Airmen for their time and passion working with local children. 

The Airmen, Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Emerson, Master Sgt. Paul Beukelman, Master Sgt. Casey Bullis, Master Sgt. Brent Garner, and Tech. Sgt. Nate Blom, all members of the 114th Fighter Wing, worked with varying age groups and programs mentoring local youth.

Master Sgt. Brent Garner, 114th Medical Group public health supervisor, spends his Mondays off with a freshman at Washington High School, Sioux Falls, S.D.  He has been mentoring the same student for the past five years. Garner is involved in the "You Succeed" program provided by Lutheran Social Services. 

"The program works on goal setting and provides a positive role model for youth." said Garner.

The program allows a mentor to meet with a student during their lunch hour within the school facility.  If the mentee is in high school, like Garner's mentee, the mentor may take them out for lunch.  The mentor may also have contact with the student year-round.

"This summer I'd like to take him to some car shows or an auto body shop." stated Garner. "He is really interested in auto mechanics, and I think it would be interesting for him."

Lutheran Social Services provides training for the mentoring program.  In order to participate, a background check is conducted and each mentor receives training.  There are programs available to mentor children of all ages. 

"I recommend reaching out and getting involved in the program." said Garner.  "It is a great way to make an impact in someone's life, especially when they are facing adversity."