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179th Airlift Wing Men inspire teen boys in Leader Richland Program

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joe Harwood
  • 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 179th Airlift Wing and 200th RED HORSE Det. 1, Mansfield, OH, participated in the Richland Community Development Group's program "Leader Richland", which aims to inspire 7th and 8th graders to reach their full potential as future community leaders.
Each year the program rotates between all boys and all girls. The event spans over the month of May and nine different schools. Busloads of kids from Ontario, Shelby, Colonel Crawford, Mansfield City, Plymouth, Galion, Lucas, Crestline and Richland Academy School of Excellence head to North Central State college and OSU-Mansfield to meet with more than 45 community leaders.
Founder, Marilyn John started Leader Richland four years ago, expanding quickly; grew to nearly 1,000 young boys, and 9 schools. Thanks to RCDG, OSU-Mansfield, NC State and the 45 volunteer speakers who help make this program what it is and investing in our future."
The 179th AW and 200th RHS sent military men as volunteer speakers from the unit to the events at Ohio State University Mansfield/North Central State College campus. The teens listened to the stories of the airmen who spoke of their experience in the military and the opportunities it has provided them. With the benefits from the Ohio National guard, members are able to create successful careers as professional leaders in their communities. For the men of the 179th AW and RHS, it's a rewarding experience to see the up and coming future and have an influence over the potential that could be; it's a priceless opportunity afforded to the military.
The students are separated into smaller groups, and rotated through various stations with volunteer speakers, each offering a unique perspective on ways to set them up for success. Military members are sure to pass along information about the benefits offered by the Air Force and the Ohio National Guard. Through the Governor of Ohio, the National Guard is able to offer a state tuition programs that pay 100% college tuition, along with many other benefits. Ohio guard is one of the few that offer 100%. These programs are operated, funded, and managed under the laws of the individual state, not the federal government. In most cases, both the Reserve Montgomery GI Bill and the Active Duty GI bill may be used at the same time with State educational programs.
While rotating through the Air National Guard portion, the boys had an opportunity to ask questions, try on some of their gear and were encouraged to dream big.