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.
commitment to service is a part of the reason Franceschini
has dedicated himself to the community work he participates
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
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
Comment on this article