Carl Vinson Helps Motivate the "Future of America"

Story Number: NNS080303-05Release Date: 3/3/2008 9:10:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Maja Dyson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors from the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), "The Gold Eagle," are partnering with area middle schools to assist local youth during the ship's 2008 community relations initiative, which began in February at schools around Newport News.

Each week, "Gold Eagle" Sailors lend students a helping hand during tutoring and mentoring sessions at Gildersleeve, Hines and Northside middle schools located in the city.

"The school outreach projects are designed to assist Newport News middle school students with tutoring and mentoring from our Sailors," said Airman (AW) Thomas Atwell, assistant community relations coordinator on board Carl Vinson. "The opportunities can help Sailors improve their leadership skills, while giving them the opportunity to bond with kids from the local community."

For Carl Vinson Sailors participating in the outreach events, there is a mutual benefit of volunteering. Sailors help the students, and they learn from the students at the same time.

"I helped an eighth grader with his Algebra studies," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Tameka Lockhart, a Carl Vinson Sailor. "Not only was the experience very educational for the student, but it was also educational for me. It felt good to help him complete and understand his work."

For Sailors and students alike, the interaction was a rewarding outreach opportunity; an experience Lockhart said was well worth her time invested.

"I help the children understand that education is important," said Lockhart. "I really enjoy mentoring and tutoring the younger generation. They are the future of this country."

Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.

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