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Connecting with kids: the Little Wingman Program

  • Published
  • By Airman Rachel Simones
  • 178th Wing Public Affairs
Airman 1st Class Sean Hummel, a member with the 178th Wing, created the Little Wingman Program for Airmen to connect with underprivileged children in the local community.

Hummel coordinated with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization to help match service members with children in the Greater Miami Valley and Springfield communities.

"We're typically connected with inner-city kids who come from rough situations," said Hummel.

The Little Wingman Program provides children the opportunity to participate in activities with a service member and to volunteer in their communities.

Hummel took his little wingman, Kendall, to volunteer for Shoes 4 the Shoeless, a non-profit organization that provides shoes and socks for children in the Dayton area.

Hummel and Kendall spent time at the batting cages, playing mini-golf, and visiting the local park.

"This is my best buddy," said Kendall. "We have some fun."

They watched the Dayton Air Show together and Hummel showed his little wingman around the Springfield Air National Guard Base.

"I had mentored kids before, just not from a military aspect," said Hummel.

Hummel started the Little Wingman Program to get more active duty and National Guard members involved in mentoring the children in their communities.

"Why not get more people involved?" said Hummel. "It's great to have another perspective of what's going on in the community around us."

Hummel, a North Dakota native, experienced poverty and hardship after his parents' divorce. He wanted to positively influence other children's lives because he understands the challenges that they face.

"It's affected me because I'm able to make a difference in someone's life," said Hummel. "This program helps to give kids goals."