Kentucky Guard Youth works to make a difference in the world

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2011 National Guard Youth Symposium

Capt. Bryan Combs, Family Programs Director for the Kentucky National Guard, and Scott Callahan, National Youth Symposium attendee, share stories at the National Youth Symposium in Louisville, Ky July 24. Thousands of dollars worth of supplies were donated by business on behalf of Callahan's request in order to provide young Afghan children the tools needed to learn basic English in village schools across the country. (Photo by Spc. Will Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It all started as a joke. Most people would think raising $5,000 in school supplies in two weeks to be an impossible task but for 16 year old Scott P. Callahan of Boyd Co., Kentucky, it was a challenge to be met and conquered.

2011 National Guard Youth Symposium

Dozens of boxes donated by Kentuckians containing a variety of school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, crayons, books, scissors and rulers await packaging by attendees of the Kentucky Youth Symposium in Louisville, Ky July 24. The school supplies will be sent overseas to Afghanistan for young children who are learning English at school in their home town. (Photo by Spc. Will Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

The charitable donation was made by many local businesses and delivered to the sixth annual National Guard Youth Symposium in Louisville, Ky. July 24 where more than 100 youths from across the country and U.S. territories came to discuss communication methods, team building strategies and what ways the youths could get connected and stay connected through the National Guard.  The school supplies ranged from notebooks and pencils to books and crayons and will be donated to villages across Afghanistan for young children learning English.

“It will make a difference for years,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael J. Dornbush, Director of the Joint Staff for the Kentucky National Guard.

Callahan, an attendee to the youth symposium, has been active in the Kentucky Youth Program for two years and has taken part in many activities offered by the state, most notably the Kentucky National Guard Youth Camp.

“It is absolutely a ball,” said Callahan.  “You get to have so much fun, it’s awesome!”

Like other symposium delegates, Callahan was required to submit an essay on why he should be chosen to represent Kentucky to the rest of the nation.  His muse was his father, Kentucky Guardsman Staff Sgt. Patrick Callahan assigned to Training Command at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky.

“My dad’s my hero,” said Callahan.  “My dad is someone who is strong, my dad has built me into who I am.”

When he found out he was chosen to attend the symposium, Callahan was thrilled and humbled at the same time.

“Coming to this symposium is the greatest honor I have ever received as a 16 year old boy,” he said.

Callahan is committed to making the Kentucky Guard State Youth Program the best.  His goal is to show the nation how much, Kentucky takes pride in its youth.

“I want to show what we’re made of,” said Callahan.  “I want to be the face of the Kentucky National Guard Youth Program.”

2011 National Guard Youth Symposium

Air Force BG Michael J. Dornbush, Director of Joint Staff for the Kentucky National Guard shares personal advice with National Guard Youth Symposium attendee Scott Callahan during the National Guard Youth Symposium in Lousiville, Ky July 24. Callahan was able to raise over $3,000 in school supply donations that will be packaged and sent to Afghanistan to benefit young school children learning English in their villages. (Photo by Spc. Will Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

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