School-Age Center Director Christine Thorps, Coordinator Claudette Mohn and Joe Jacks, who oversees the Middle School/Teen Center, greeted us warmly on arrival. Young people are having wonderful experiences here. They even put on a talent show just for us. The elementary-age kids sang, danced and screened a video collage they’d produced. The very special afternoon event was also attended by numerous parents and base personnel.
With USAG Yongsan 2015 Military Youth of the Year Jacob McMurray as our guide, we headed to the Teen Center for more music. First we heard from The Nuclear Spider Sharks, a three-piece band who performed two Beatles songs to perfection. Next, a talented young woman named Mica Agyao gave a spectacular guitar performance. Saxophone player Ellis Hamilton, a 15-year old who’s realized his musical talent at the Club, closed the set. If you’ve heard smooth jazz sax player Najee, you’d recognize his influence on Ellis’ original work.
We completed our visit by meeting with Garrison Commander Col. Maria Eoff and Command Sgt. Maj. Henney Hodgkins. We spent time talking about the needs of military children and families on Army bases, and where BGCA might assist further as they look at transitions down the road. We are fortunate to have great leaders such as Col. Eoff and Sgt. Maj. Hodgkins in place, who clearly care deeply that kids have every opportunity to achieve a great future.