Sanchez, Litchfield recognized for excellence in mentoring
Senior Master Sgt. Steven Sanchez and Cmdr. Charles Litchfield were recognized recently for their efforts to coordinate a mentorship program involving members of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command and two local high schools.
Tasked with the execution of the commands’ mentorship program, Sanchez enlisted Litchfield’s assistance in coordinating volunteers for the program.
“My function was primarily as the ‘head mentor’,” said Litchfield. “I figured out what kind of mentors we needed for the program.”
The program, according to Sanchez, was Summer Aerospace Institute, a program sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation. The program, based on NASA’s Mission Alpha curriculum, was conducted in partnership with the Challenger Learning Center.
“We recruited speakers who spoke at the Summer Institute about the following topics: space weather, radiation, physiology, crisis management and communication,” said Sanchez.
Fourteen students from Mitchell High School and 14 from Coronado High School attended the Institute, which was part of the commands’ school partnership agreement with Mitchell High School.
“It was very rewarding,” said Sanchez.
“It ran wonderfully,” Litchfield added. “There was something to be proud of when we finished this.”
Litchfield and Sanchez travelled to Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 6, to receive the Outstanding Partner Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation in recognition of their efforts to ensure the program’s success.
Sanchez plans to continue the Summer Aerospace Institute program, as well as continued support of Mitchell High School through the partnership agreement.
NORAD is the bi-national command responsible for aerospace detection and defense as well as maritime detection and warning for the air and sea approaches to the United States and Canada.
Formed in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, USNORTHCOM is responsible for homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities.