Altus Air Force Base teen Maya Sanchez named local Youth of the Year.

By Katrina Goforth -

With a little more than six weeks left in the 2016-2017 school year, the Altus Air Force Base Teen Program and the Boys and Girls Club are preparing for another summer of activities for school-aged teens and pre-teens between age 9 and 18.

From trips to the Oklahoma City Zoo, Six Flags and Frontier City, to activities such as skydiving, open gym time, 4-H Club robotics and Nerf war nights, the pre-teen and teen programs have interesting event and field trip opportunities.

Even when events aren’t planned, the center is a friendly place to spend an afternoon with access to computers, ping-pong tables and pool tables.

“You don’t have to be in the military to access this program,” Open Recreation Coordinator Shawn Heiser said. “If you can get on base either with an ID or by being signed on, you can participate in the pre-teen or teen programs.”

Along with special events, the teen program offers access to leadership building clubs. Keystone Club for teens and Torch Club for pre-teens prepares students for academic success, career preparation and community service while focusing on health and fitness, education and social recreation.

Recently, Maya Sanchez, a member of the Keystone Club at the teen program was named Altus Military Youth of the Year, the highest honor a program member can receive and includes state-level competition.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and teen center, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Sanchez wrote four essays and was interviewed by a panel of judges before receiving the award.

“This experience has been a challenge but well worth the chance to receive scholarship money at the state, regional and national level,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez also is an active member of the seventh-grade academic team at Altus Junior High School, a LEO Club member, part of the school band, school tennis team,and a member of her church choir. She hopes to attend Texas A&M University to study veterinary medicine.

“It is hard work to compete, but it’s also a great opportunity to develop leadership skills and perseverance,” Heiser said. “We’re excited to see our youth learn in a safe and fun environment.”

Membership to the teen program is $45 a year plus expenses for any field trips the individual may elect to attend.

For more information contact Heiser at 580-481-6792

By Katrina Goforth

Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.

Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.

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