SJAFB partners with city of Goldsboro for youth success

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

The city of Goldsboro conducted a program for the youth of Wayne County, North Carolina to gain employment experience.

The Goldsboro Summer Youth Employment Initiative Program kicked off July 10, 2017, which featured two different six-week segments. More than 40 participants, ages 14-18, worked at several locations throughout Wayne County, including Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The participants were paid $8 an hour and worked 20 hours a week, according to Patricia Pridgen, 4th Medical Support Squadron health systems assistant.

Six students were assigned to work at Seymour Johnson AFB at several locations including, the 4th Medical Group pharmacy, the 4th Operations Group and the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron.

“Being on Seymour Johnson is a whole other side of Goldsboro that I have never seen before,” said Tyriq Moore, one of the youth program participants. “Everything the base has to offer and seeing the F-15E Strike Eagle take off is pretty cool.”

Moore added, he hopes participating in the program will improve his work resume for future employment.

Each participant on base worked alongside Airmen, civilian contractors and established base volunteers.

“The students help the pharmacy mission and in turn the 4th Fighter Wing mission by alleviating some of the workload,” said Master Sgt. Leon Russell, 4 MDSS diagnostics and therapeutics flight chief.

The students working at the pharmacy assisted with pre-packing medications, storing completed prescriptions and performing other pharmaceutical duties.

“I help wherever I am needed. I’m mostly out front dispensing medicine to patients and customers,” said Jaylon Wallace, one of the youth program participants.

Wallace added he was excited when he found out he would be working at the 4th MDG pharmacy.

“When I get older, I want to be a sports doctor,” said Wallace. “I am learning a lot of things about medicine. Working here has helped me want to keep doing what I want to do.”

The program doesn’t only teach students about working toward their future, according to Russell the program helps develop the participant’s life skills, work skills and social skills.

The program participants received training in both customer service and work attire prior to beginning at their work sites, said Pridgen.

Russell believes the summer youth work program provides students the opportunity to build a foundation based on good work ethic. 

“This program allows the base and the community mentor the youth of Goldsboro,” said Tech. Sgt. Shawn Greiner, 4th Civil Engineer squadron structural technician. “The summer interns help us out because we have extra hands to get job and the mission done.”

Greiner added, it would be beneficial for both the base and the community to have the program grow in the future.

“We want to maintain the good working relationship between Seymour Johnson AFB and the city of Goldsboro,” said Pridgen. “We hope this program will continue to grow.” 


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