Dover program enhances leadership

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jacob Morgan
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force places a premium on developing people. With educated, motivated and healthy individuals, the Air Force will become a better team. However, any team's mission can be hindered by stressed individuals.

Many people have problems that lead to stress. To solve these problems they often seek help from peers and supervisors, who are the mentors that help the most at the lowest levels.

"Mentorship and leadership are part of being an Airman," said Maj. Jovanna Wilson, 436th Airlift Wing Medical Support Squadron mental health flight commander.

Leadership Pathways seeks to give the most amount of knowledge not to just a few leaders or higher ranking officials, but to anyone capable of learning it, said Maj. Wilson.

Leadership Pathways focuses on total force fitness which covers four major categories, physical, mental, spiritual and social. It incorporates classes from multiple support agencies on base, which include Mental Health, Airman and Family Readiness, Chaplain Office, Health and Wellness Center, Fitness Center, Youth Center, and Sexual Assault and Prevention Response. Leadership Pathways was created to help these agencies reach everyone on base.

"The idea is to create a domino effect of these classes becoming widely acceptable and encouraged," said Maj. Wilson.

One Team Dover member seeking information on how to become a better mentor, Senior Airman Maria Sefcik, 436th Airlift Wing Logistics and Readiness Squadron material control journeyman, has used this unique to Dover AFB program to help herself as well as counsel those around her.

"I found the information easy to understand," said Airman Sefcik. "These classes are very open, you can have your own input and learn regardless of who you are."

A great example of a class that helped Airman Sefcik in her career is Mentorship 101, taught by Master Sgt. Jennifer Hellwig, 436th LRS first sergeant. The class taught her basics of being a noncommissioned officer, and how to guide others from a different perspective, said Airman Sefcik.

"I have had good and bad supervisors," said Airman Sefcik. "I want to be a good one."

Leadership Pathways will give her the excitement and confidence to go out and help someone, said Sergeant Hellwig.

Helping people is exactly what Airman Sefcik has done with the lessons she learned in the Marriage Enrichment class.

This class, taught by the base chaplains, covers basics of marriage and communication, said Airman Sefcik.

Airman Sefcik used this information to help a civilian friend when she had communication issues in her marriage.

"I've seen it make a difference in their relationship," said Airman Sefcik.
She finished all 18 of her classes between Oct. and the beginning of Jan.

One of the features of Leadership Pathways is it can be incorporated into your duty day, with supervisor permission. Due to working night shifts, Airman Sefcik completed all of her classes on her own time.

"You put a little in, and get a lot out," said Airman Sefcik.

In addition to the knowledge Leadership Pathways gives it also features a recognition program. There are three levels awarded with completion of classes including squadron, group and wing-wide recognition.

Airman Sefcik has completed all three levels of the Leadership Pathways program and has received wing recognition for her hard work and dedication to the program.

Leadership Pathways arms everyone with the tools to be a great follower, supervisor, and a better person in general, said Sergeant Hellwig. It will pay forward in any career.

"Everyone is a mentor, regardless of status, said Sergeant Hellwig. "Airman Sefcik is going to be the go-to person with her peers.