ANSBACH, Germany (September 19, 2019) -- U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach hosted its first ever collaborative Youth Sponsorship training Sept. 17-18, at the Von Steuben Community Center on Bismarck Kaserne.

Students from Ansbach Middle/High School, and Stuttgart's middle school and high school, teamed up into Student Transition Response Teams (STRTS), to participate in the daylong trainings provided by the Ansbach Child & Youth Services (CYS).

Many of the students who participated in the training thought the interaction with other students, as well as the activities throughout the day, were the most beneficial part of the program.

"I think this will help make the process of entry and exit smoother for new students," said Annika Daniels-Matthews, a senior at Ansbach Middle/High School. "Additionally, it can provide us with new ways of making the process more fun for everyone."

Rhiannah Smith, a seventh grade student at Stuttgart Middle School, said the program will help settle new students into a new environment and help them feel welcome.

"I see this as it helps you and other people, meet new people and make friends," she said.
The training helps reduce redundancies and provide better support for youth transitioning into and out of the community.

The average military child transitions six to seven times during their academic lifetime.

"Coming to a school, community, and youth center with students possessing the ability to support them and help them meet the primary needs of incoming students is vital," said Ruth Ploeger, School Liaison Officer, Transition Support Specialist, Family & Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) CYS Installation Management Command-Europe (IMCOM-E). "Helping students with information, fitting in or having a sense of belonging, and making friends can make for smoother transitions for military connected youth."

The partnership was established in May 2019 by IMCOM-E MWR CYS and the Department of Defense Education Activity East District, to be more effective and allow students from different locations to share ideas.

In order to sustain the program, STRTS will be able to provide Youth Sponsorship training annually to new Youth Sponsors.