Wouldn't it be great if you could talk to someone who lives in your new town and goes to your school so you could ask them the million and one questions you have? That's what your Youth Sponsorship Program is designed to do! The program helps you connect with another kid who is already in your new location and knows what's going on at school and on your installation, and who can answer any questions you might have.
- Meet a new friend. You'll have a familiar face and someone you know before you even get to your new location. This can make meeting other people much easier too.
- Learn about your new school and installation before you get there. Before you move, you'll get paired up with another kid your age (your "sponsor") who lives where you'll be living and goes to the school you'll attend. Your new friend can tell you what the other kids are wearing, what the teachers are like, and what fun things are going on!
- Ask a lot of questions. You must have a lot of questions about your new location and your new school, and your sponsor can help you answer them. Ask them things about your school, your youth center, the other kids, and anything else that's on your mind.
- Get a tour. Your sponsor knows best. Ask him or her to take you around the installation or around school to get an idea about what things are like. Then, he or she can introduce you to some new friends as well!
- Get started. The first step to a successful youth sponsorship is getting connected with your new sponsor. Ask your parents to contact your new installation. Once the new installation is aware that you're coming, they'll pair you with your sponsor and provide his or her contact information. Even before you arrive, you'll have a chance to get to know your new friend and get acquainted with the new installation. Exchange emails, talk on the phone, or chat online. It's that simple! Remember, your sponsor was once the new kid too, and he or she will be excited to introduce you to your new home.
- Meet up. Once you've actually arrived at the installation, make plans to meet up with your sponsor. He or she can then show you around and introduce you to his or her friends. It's a great way to build a social circle - and most of the work is already done for you!
If you aren't moving for awhile or you've already moved and feel comfortable in your new location, you can be a sponsor for another kid who's moving to your school or installation. Just think how cool it was to know one person when you got to your new place. You can be that person for the new kid!
For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money, and going green, visit Military Youth on the Move!