35 Airmen from the Paul W Airey Non Commissioned Officer Academy Maxwell Air Force Base Gunter Annex showed up early Saturday morning to begin a project that, when finished, will impact lives in our community for decades to come.
The Airmen poured their hearts and their sweat into this project as they designed and began building a low ropes course that will serve as a place where youth can come and learn how to be part of a team.
Sharing the Dream, a local non-profit, has been providing services for underserved children from ages 6 to 12 in the area for ten years. Children are provided with summer camp activities at Dream Field Farms who sponsored the event for the last several years. The non-profit was looking for ways to reach older children and reached out to the Academy in hopes of a joint project.
Under the leadership of their Director of Education Ramiro Villalobos, the Airmen of Class 19-6 began building a low ropes course that will allow tweens and teens in the area to experience what its like to be a part of something more than themselves.
When completed, the course will have twelve challenges that will foster team dynamics and encourage youth to work together to conquer different obstacles. The Airmen are donating their time and skills as one of the many ways they give back to local communities. “This Airey Initiative is an opportunity for our Junior NCO’s to apply some of the skills discussed in our curriculum and as a result, they make a direct impact to our community says “Ramiro Villalobos.”
Our goal is through this partnership we can lay a solid foundation in leadership for generations to come.” Dream Field Farms is donating the supplies, equipment and even feeding the volunteers who come build this course. It is also of special note that the course and each of its obstacles will be dedicated to fallen Airmen in remembrance of an their sacrifice during the Global War on Terror.
The course will take approximately twelve weeks to become operational. Future classes from the academy will have the opportunity to use the course to mentor groups of young people for years to come because of the contributions being made by these dedicated Airmen from Class 19-6. The work that they start will be completed by Airmen from class 19-7. Each class lasts six weeks and focuses on team building and leadership skills.
Cathy Ellis stated “What an appropriate gesture of love and kindness that, while in the area to learn about leadership, the group was inspired to provide a place for our youth to learn team skills and leadership for years to come”.