“Pathways” to success: Summer interns key contributors to AFDW mission

  • Published
  • By By Mrs. Shelia E. Relerford, AFDW HR Policy Advisor & Compliance Oversight, and Lt Col. Brus E. Vidal, AFDW Public Affairs Director
  • Joint Base Andrews, Md

“Pride...Teamwork...Success.”  A group of young adults were able to experience, first hand, what it means to embody the Air Force District of Washington’s motto as interns working on the AFDW staff this summer.

Hired on under the Federal Government’s “Pathways Programs” the group of students from high school through post-graduate school and recent graduates received meaningful training and career development opportunities on the headquarters staff here.  For some of the individuals, this experience may very well be the beginning of a Federal service career.

No matter what path they ultimately choose, however, one constant remains among the group:  appreciation for the opportunity to serve with Team AFDW Airmen and civilians, and pride in supporting the command and its personnel and contributing directly to the AFDW mission.

“I feel as though I impacted AFDW in positive way,” said Tatyana Tanner, from Bowie, Md., who will resume her education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., when she finishes her summer internship working in the Commander’s Action Group at AFDW.  “With so many events this year, I was able to take some stress off by handling the basic mission while my co-workers and supervisor handled the big jobs like [preparing for] the 2017 Inauguration.”

Fellow intern, Britni Baldwin, who worked for the 11th Security Forces Group, agrees with Tanner.

“This internship was the best decision I have made,” Baldwin said.  “I learned so much from this experience, I enjoyed it immensely, and would not choose another experience over this one.”

She said the enjoyment, in large part, was due to the AFDW Airmen and civilian Airmen she worked

“They are amazing and really worked hard to make sure I enjoy this experience to its full potential … I will never be able to take part in anything like this again probably in my lifetime,” said the 2016 graduate of St. Mary's College of Maryland, who graduated with a B.A. in political science and minor in history and will now beginning courses towards her masters’ degree.

“These men and women have very important jobs to do, but they still seemed to take time out of their busy schedules to make sure I feel included within the squadron (11th Security Forces Support Squadron). I have learned so much throughout this process and I do not think I could ever thank any of them enough.”

Baldwin said she learned about this program from her school advisors and recruiters, while Tanner learned about it from her grandmother, a federal employee.  At AFDW, the summer hire program stood back up in 2011.  Typically, 15-20 AFDW summer interns are hired and work across the AFDW spectrum, including in the 11th Wing, 844th, Communication Group, 79th Medical Wing and on the Headquarters staff.