Teens give input for garrison improvement

Emily Jennings\USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs
Staff at the Teen Center serve pizza to Wiesbaden High School students during a recent Food for Thought Lunch. Students had the opportunity to voice their opinions on issues that are important to them, that will eventually be discussed at the Youth Leadership Forum.

Wiesbaden High School students were offered pizza in exchange for their feedback on a survey about the top issues faced by youth in Wiesbaden during a Food for Thought Lunch March 22 at the Teen Center on Hainerberg.

Students were instructed to select three issues from a list that included items such as transportation, lack of jobs, getting a driver’s license, bullying and also left a space for them to write in their own issue.

“We collected 80 surveys out of 500 kids in the high school,” said Aaron Chapuis, Youth Program director.
Student-to-Student vice president and Keystone Club president Amani Robinson identified transportation and jobs as her two most important issues from the list.

She said that with few jobs and many students applying, the chance of landing one of those positions is small. This can affect college applications and job prospects after high school or college, she said, because many young people in the states are able to gain experience and improve their resumes through summer jobs.

Some students expressed that the schedule for the shuttle, which is designed to get Soldiers to and from their workplaces, does not allow for teens to ride where they want to go after school. “You have to ask your parents or walk,” Robinson said.

Averi Houck, who arrived a few months ago, sees getting her driver’s license as a major issue. “I had my permit before I moved here,” she said. “And then when I got here I wasn’t allowed to drive.”
Members of the WHS Student Council and the Teen Center’s Keystone Club will choose the biggest issues that they think can be resolved and brief the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander. Eventually, the issues will go up the chain to senior Army leaders.

Michael Lattimore, Keystone Club advisor, described the process as being similar to the Army Family Action Plan, wherein every issue is discussed and the issues that cannot be resolved at the local level are elevated.

During the Youth Leadership Forum, student representatives from each grade will meet at the Teen Center April 26 to identify the issues to bring to the commander. Then, this summer they will be raised to the Europe level, and then Army-wide.