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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
New sponsorship program will help youth PCS with ease

By Cpl. Thomas Perry | | August 22, 2003

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- In a joint effort to improve young children's and teenagers' transition period during a permanent change of station, the Depot's and the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort's Relocation Assistance Programs have initiated a new program that allows incoming youth to contact a local sponsor and have their questions answered prior to arrival.

"Having a sponsor has proven to lessen the stress of a PCS," said Toni Stancil, relocation assistance program manager for MCAS Beaufort. "The incoming youth will be able to correspond with their sponsor and get answers to all their questions, such as what is the dress fad in Beaufort, what is there to do, and a million other questions that our youth have."

Although the new program is geared toward children 6-18 years old, the adult relocation program has proven very popular as well.

"The adult program has been a great success for those who use it and get a willing sponsor," said Stancil, who added that having a number of willing sponsors is the key to the new program.

The youth sponsors will be comprised of local children and teenagers from the both area bases and students.

The program has yet to begin because, according to Evelyn M. Cookley, the Depot's RAP manager, the Tri-Command has yet to build an adequate pool of youth volunteers.
Both Cookley and Stancil are confident that they will receive many volunteers once the word gets spread throughout the Tri-Command.

The volunteer sponsors will be asked to help children coming from all over the world, but Stancil also believes that many children stateside will utilize the program, as well.
Cookley explained how easy it is for children interested in becoming a sponsor to join up and help their fellow children.

"Once they call us, we have them fill out a sponsor request form and a parental consent form," said Cookley. "That's all it takes."

For more information, call 228-2371.


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