Ravens mentor local students
By Airman 1st Class Zoe M. Wockenfuss, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 20, 2018
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Team Dover’s Ravens took part in the Green Beret Project at Central Middle School in Dover, Del., March 8, 2018.
The GBP is an organization designed to pair police and military mentors with at-risk youth. These volunteers work to find the children’s individual motivators and help steer them in the right direction.
The Ravens donned protective gear, also known as “Red Man” suits, to demonstrate sparring, baton training and disarming techniques. In addition to the physical training, the Ravens taught the students leadership and effective communication.
The mentors of the Green Beret Project also received information concerning the students’ academic and behavior grades, which helps them get the kids back on the correct path, said Master Sgt. Jamie Beard, 436th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant.
“We love to reach out and show kids a different perspective of life and a brief glimpse at the military,” said Tech. Sgt. Anthony Holliman, 436th Security Forces Squadron Raven's flight chief.
The students were given the opportunity to spar against the Red Man after they were shown how to properly strike with the baton and how to block themselves.
“No one made it to where they are at in the military without someone guiding them in the right direction,” Holliman said. “Changing the life course of a child that probably feels they don't have any options, is definitely a major impact for us.”
The Ravens only started participating in the GBP a month ago but plans to continue. The GBP operates at two housing developments in addition to Central Middle School.
“We teach the kids how to push past their limits,” Holliman said. “When you're confronted with an obstacle, you have two choices. Run and hide, or stand your ground. This can translate to many things in life. We want them to believe in their abilities to overcome somewhat impossible odds, by digging deep and finding the drive inside of themselves.”
In addition to the demonstration from the ravens, the students participated in various team building cross fit work outs as well as team sports. The GBP is meant to utilize military training to teach and develop the children in a way that they will help train new students who come through the program.
“This is a great opportunity for Dover Airmen to engage in the community because these children don't have interaction with military members,” Beard said. “They aren't familiar with this type of devotion, discipline and professionalism. We hand-pick individuals that we think would take a vested interest in the wellbeing of these children to participate.”