Students with parents in the military have more resources and support to look forward to, as First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden announced the relaunch of the Joining Forces program this April. The program, originated by former First Lady Michell Obama, focuses on four critical needs of America’s military families: Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, and Well-Being. Below are more details on each of the four focuses of the Joining Forces Program renewal:High school students with a military parent face challenges of frequent moves throughout their educational years. One goal of the Joining Forces program is to equip these students with the resources they need to be successful. Through the renewed program, students will have access to Military Service School Liaisons. Military One Source, a website for active duty military families that provides support on benefits, taxes, moving and more, houses the Military School Liaison resource and serves as a success link for high school students of military families. Liaison services include educational subject experts and connections to public school officials that help to make school transitions easier. A student’s junior and senior years of high school are important. Moving school districts in high school is a challenge, considering curriculum and expectation changes, new high school counselors, and building new friendships in a new region. The official site adds, “Joining Forces will advance programming to support military-connected children in their classrooms, and help ease the burdens created by the highly mobile military lifestyle.”The connection and support of the School Liaison program ensures these students can keep their college-bound status, even if the family moves during these crucial years. The program is designed to help military children “...thrive academically, socially and emotionally...” according to Military One Source. Military One Source also provides social resources through numerous social activities, summer camps, volunteer programs, and more. One such partnership is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This organization helps military-family students build relationships and network within their community. Military families and their children can join the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for free. Education and empowerment are both a BGCA focus, as showcased in the Virtual STEM Program for Girls.
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