Hill LEGACY program seeks 2022 summer junior apprentice mentors

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Hill AFB’s Leadership Experience Growing Apprenticeships Committed to Youth program, known as LEGACY, is actively recruiting base mentors for this summer’s session for high-school students.

The students, in grades 10-12, are in their second stage of the LEGACY program called junior apprentice, designed to give them real-world work experience in a career relating to science, technology, engineering and math.

This year’s program begins on June 1 with a duration of 8 to 10 weeks.

Kerry Reed, Hill LEGACY site lead said she’s looking for mentors in all areas of STEM so the students can experience a variety of job opportunities.

“The whole idea of the program is to help these kids realize what’s out there,” she said. “They don’t know what they want be unless they see what’s out there and experience the possibility.”

LEGACY students start in the program at age 11 with a one-week craftsman camp each summer designed to get them interested in STEM.

Then, students can apply when they’re 16 to earn a paid apprenticeship with a mentor.

The LEGACY program is responsible for all onboarding the junior apprentice, including getting their common access card and responsible for their paying.

Each year, 10-12 new students are added to the apprentice program but without mentors and STEM work centers where they can gain experience, the program doesn’t work.

“It takes all of us working on base to make this happen and to continue to make this program a success,” Reed said. “I need mentors to help make it work.”

Reed said as mentors provide a place for a junior apprentice to work, they’re ultimately strengthening the Air Force.

“By being a mentor, you’re changing lives for the better,” she said. “You’re helping to grow our future Air Force STEM workforce and you will probably learn as much from them as they do from you. They have a lot to offer.”

The junior apprentice can be a true asset to the Air Force.

Last year two junior apprentices did extensive research on renovating an aircraft hangar resulting in the research being a vital piece to completing the project.

The junior apprentices working with the A-10s, enhanced new-hire training by helping leaders realize where their holes were and where they were lacking in their training program. 

A 16-year-old assisted with an inventory in the electrical engineering department and made some procedural suggestions that significantly streamlined the process.

“I believe in this program because I have seen the results of these kids and I have seen the LEGACY program change lives,” Reed said. “To continue being successful, we need more mentors at Hill. We need your support.”

To volunteer to be a mentor or to sponsor a tour in your location, email hillafb.legacy@gmail.com, or kerry.reed.1.ctr@us.af.mil.

After students move through the junior apprentice program, they progress to being an apprentice during their college years, the third and final stage of the LEGACY program.