By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Elena Pence, Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) joined local San Ysidro School District to create the first type commander and school district partnership in the history of Partners in Education (PIE), during a kick-off ceremony held at SURFPAC headquarters Aug. 30.
Commands volunteering to participate in the PIE program include: USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Chief (MCM 14), Commander, Amphibious Squadron 1, and SURFPAC.
"Our Navy's concept of a 'global force for good' starts in our own backyard, as demonstrated by the number of surface warriors and community leaders here today," said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "The young men and women involved in the Partnership in Education program are our future leaders. We hope that our involvement really makes an impact."
PIE is a non-profit organization consisting of education partners focused on ensuring all students leave school with the academic, technical, and employability skills necessary to be successful in the workplace.
"My first involvement with a Navy ship was with the USS New Orleans (LPH 11) 18 years ago and the children benefited greatly from that relationship," said Jose Torres, principal of Ocean View Hills School. "Now my school is partnered with not one but two ships, Kidd and the Stockdale, and I'm excited to see where this relationship will take my children."
The idea for a partnership between SURFPAC and the San Ysidro School District originated with Capt. Emilio Marrero, SURFPAC Force Chaplain, Rear Adm. (retired) Joe Betancourt, and Manuel Paul, superintendent of San Ysidro School.
"We hope to make an impact on our children of San Yisdro and we hope it will equally impact our Sailors who will volunteer their time," said Marrero. "What we see is an investment, an opportunity to give up our selves, to be engaged and invest in young people so they grow up to not only know who we are as Sailors, but who we are as fellow citizens, Americans, and neighbors who give to one another."
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