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Career Story: National Guard State Youth Coordinator

National Guard State Youth Coordinator

Job Title: National Guard State Youth Coordinator

Type of Company: I work for a National Guard family program, which lends support to military families while their guardsmen are deployed overseas.

Education: BA, Social Work

Previous Experience: I worked with military families for 3 years prior to becoming the Youth Coordinator.

Job Tasks: I work with military children between the ages of 3 and 18, mostly running weekend events in which they learn how to cope with their parents' deployment and encounter other kids whose predicament they share. Because the children of National Guardsmen do not live on a military base, it takes more of an effort to educate the community and schools about their plight and the unique challenges they face, and as a consequence community and school outreach are a large part of my job.

I have a special program for military teens called the state Youth Council, which is tailored to kids between 11 and 18. The group meets once a month for a program called "Stay on Track which helps the children of Guardsmen make better choices and stay drug free. Many meet a second time in a sort of school group, with a president, vice president, secretary, etc. They plan events, fund raise and learn skills such as team building, communication, and career guidance.

Yet another large part of my job is assisting military families with child care subsidies and help them to find the right child care facility. I work closely with the parents and provide them with age appropriate materials that they can work with their children at home during a deployment or reunion.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with the military kids and knowing that I am helping them through a tough time in their lives, one that will hopefully make a lasting impression. The worst part of my job would be the politics in the work place.

Job Tips: This is a very rewarding job and it is very important to be empathetic with our families and understand that they are at a stressful point in their lives.

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