NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Most average high school kids' priorities are linear; wake up on time, decide on an outfit, make it to school on time, do homework, hangout with friends and participate in a few extracurricular activities. Rarely does community service make it on the list, but for one outstanding high school sophomore, giving back to others makes the top tier.
At first glance, Caleb Franceschini may seem like your average self-absorbed 15-year-old, however, being named Nellis Air Force Base's Youth of the Year and Nevada State Military Youth of the Year separates him from the average high school kid.
Davin Watson, 99th Force Support Squadron youth center teen director and Caleb Franceschini, Nellis Air Force Base Youth of the Year, pose for a photo at the Youth Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., March 11, 2015. Franceschini also won Nevada's Military Youth of the Year award and will go on to compete at the regional level in California in August. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle)
Franceschini grew up not knowing his biological father. Fortunately, his step-father stepped in as a father figure and has been there for him from the tender age of 5 years old. His mother, Tech. Sgt. Ann Stanford, works with the 99th Medical Operations Squadron.
His mother's commitment to service is a part of the reason Franceschini has dedicated himself to the community work he participates in.
Seeing the smiles of joy on people's faces and knowing that he was making a difference in the lives of those he's helping has been the driving factor behind all of the volunteer work Francechini has done and continues to do.
“Volunteering helps me get away from the troubling times that I have, whether they are at school or home,” said Franceschini. “I really like the fact that as a teenager, starting from the age of 13, I've been helping the community.”
Franceschini hopes that what he is doing helps motivate other children to go out and volunteer.
“I want the best for the kids and I hope that when they turn 13, they can start doing the things that I've been doing,” said Franceschini. “I want them to follow not only in my footsteps, but my peers' footsteps as well so that they don't get off track. I want to get them on a one-way train to success.”
Just like Franceschini wants other young kids to follow in his footsteps, he became interested in volunteer work from watching his older peers actively participate in the local community.
“I saw other teens working with the homeless and the smiles of happiness on their faces filled me up with joy,” said Franceschini.
For Franceschini, the joy his actions bring to other people is the most rewarding part of what he does.
“The sky is the limit. Whatever he sets his mind to, he'll achieve. He can do it,” said Davin Watson, 99th Force Support Squadron youth center teen director. “He highlights the best of the best as far as character, leadership, amongst other things that make or produce a great kid.”
After high school, Franceschini hopes to attend the University of Oregon in pursuit of an Information Technology degree or follow in his mother and father's footsteps in becoming a doctor or nurse.
By U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle
Provided through DVIDS
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