6th MDG welcomes, inspires future leaders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan C. Grossklag
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

As part of an ongoing effort to champion the Air Force’s Aviation Inspired Mentorship (AIM) High program, Team MacDill invited 13 students from Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School, Tampa, to visit the 6th Medical Group, May 26, 2021.

The AIM High program was enacted earlier to increase representation and diversity in all branches of the military and inspire young minds to consider a career in the Department of Defense.

“The visit was fantastic and the opportunity for the students to see first-hand the options available to them as a profession is invaluable,” said Terrie Dodson, the director of communication and public relations for Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School. “Visiting the clinic opened eyes to the military and to medical in general. The students saw how different professions cross a spectrum of interests and the options for work, school and life.”

The tour marked the third AIM High event organized by Team MacDill for Cristo Rey students. The first brought students in for a short tour of MacDill, while the second event gave students the opportunity to hop onboard a KC-135 Stratotanker incentive flight alongside Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of Air Mobility Command.

“When the students came in April, Col. Finkbeiner gave a brief about opportunities and experiences Air Force medicine has to offer, it brought excitement and curiosity to the Cristo Rey students,” said 1st Lt. Chelsea Dull, 6th MDG executive officer. “Ms. Dodson and I worked to develop a schedule centered around the students’ interests, goals and ambitions. It is a distinct honor and privilege to show off the 6th MDG and host these amazing students.”

During their visit, the students were given presentations from the dermatology, dental and physical therapy clinics, as well as a first aid demonstration from chief nurse, Col. Cheryl Lockhart. The students also visited the refill pharmacy, attended a question and answer panel and received a mission brief from 6th MDG commander, Col. Courtney Finkbeiner.

“The Cristo Rey students inspired us today! These kids are pure energy; driven, determined, and goal-oriented,” said Finkbeiner. “Our Mighty Medics were honored to host these future medics and introduce them to military medicine.”

Team MacDill and the AIM High program are striving to cultivate a Total Force that promotes and encourages young leaders with differing ideals and experiences. The assets that these prospective Airmen bring to the table provide an unmatched weapon to the future fight – diversity.