Hill Air Force Base Youth Center

Funded through Raytheon’s $5 million multi-year commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Center encourages children to explore science, technology, engineering and math fields

Hill Air Force Base Unveils New “Center Of Innovation”

Press Release

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Hill Air Force Base, Florida – Feb. 22, 2018 – Today Hill Air Force Base Youth Center, in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), opened a Center of Innovation with support from Raytheon, a defense and cybersecurity leader. The center, created to provide children of military families with an inspiring environment to explore practical applications of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), is one of 11 in the U.S. and Germany that is part of Raytheon’s $10 million pledge to support military families and veterans.

Each of the 11 centers gives military-connected youth access to advanced technologies to stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration. The new Hill Air Force Base Youth Center offers:

  • LEGO Robotics Kit for members to learn how to build and program their own robot
  • 3D printers to encourage members to explore the endless possibilities of their imagination
  • Makerspace with giant tool wall to ignite creativity

A full-time STEM expert will offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help Club members develop STEM skills and critical thinking. Through creative projects and evidence-based programming, young people can enhance their STEM understanding and strengthen skills in preparation for college, military and civilian careers.

“From skilled mentors to hands-on interactive programs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to providing kids and teens with the resources they need to explore the endless possibilities available to them,” said Jim Clark, BGCA president and CEO. “Thanks to Raytheon’s support, our new Centers of Innovation will allow youth to discover an array of new passions and career paths related to STEM that they can pursue to achieve their great future.”
On Thursday, Feb. 22 at 4:00 P.M., Hill Air Force Base hosted a Center of Innovation grand opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony at its Youth Center. During the event, Cherokee Johnson, Director of Hill AFB Youth Programs; Butch Brien, Manager Physical Security at Raytheon Applied Signal Technology; and Club members including 2017 Military Youth of the Year winner Kaila L., spoke about the impact the new Center of Innovation will have on area youth. 

Pam Erickson, Raytheon’s Vice President of Global Branding and Citizenship said: “Military families go where they are needed, when they are needed. Raytheon’s goal is to provide their children with an environment to foster their creative and learning passions. Supporting military families is our responsibility; inspiring the military child is our privilege.”

Following are the 12 Center of Innovations in the United States and one abroad that are now:

  1. Hill Air Force Base Youth Center, serving families of Utah
  2. Boys & Girls Clubs of Hawaii, serving families of US Army Garrison Hawaii, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii
  3. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego, serving families of Naval Base Point Loma, and Naval Base San Diego
  4. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pikes Peak Region, Colorado Springs, serving families of Peterson Air Force Base, Widefield School District and U.S. Air Force Academy Youth Program
  5. Eglin Air Force Base Youth Program, Florida
  6. Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, serving families of Joint Base San Antonio (Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base)
  7. Joint Base Andrews Youth Program, Maryland
  8. Ramstein Air Base Youth Programs, Germany
  9. Boys & Girls Clubs of South County, California, serving families of Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach
  10. Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, serving families of Fort Hood
  11. Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama, serving families of Redstone Arsenal
  12. Harford County Boys & Girls Clubs, Maryland, serving families of Aberdeen Proving Ground

For 27 years, BGCA has partnered with every branch of the U.S. military and serves 480,000 school-age military youth. Through BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide, Boys & Girls Clubs of America aims to provide a steady presence in military children’s lives.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,300 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at Facebook and Twitter.

About Raytheon 
Raytheon Company, with 2017 sales of $25 billion and 64,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 96 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I™ products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Follow us on Twitter.

Media Contacts

Ashley Keys
Boys & Girls Clubs of America


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