CORONADO, Calif. - During the 2014-2015 school year, Sailors from USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) partnered with Silver Strand Elementary School (SSES) in Coronado, California, for “Operation Pals,” a mentorship program designed for students whose parents are deployed.
SSES is located in the center of a local military housing area with more than 85% of its students coming from military households.
Students in kindergarten and first grade were paired with Sailors whose role was to provide guidance, direction, and assistance in homework and life affairs while their parents were deployed. Altogether, Pearl Harbor Sailors impacted more than 300 residents of the local San Diego area, greatly enhancing relationships between the local community and the Navy.
“Getting to play and interact with the children of Silver Strand Elementary was a great opportunity,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Kelsey P. Fairbanks.
Fairbanks said she felt that the volunteers truly made a difference in the lives of these young children and hopes that there are other opportunities like this available in the future.
A special thanks to the following Pearl Harbor Sailors for volunteering: Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Page E. Amido, Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Maria V. Martin, Electronics Technician 2nd Class Liangran Shen, Engineman 2nd Class Yong G. Yo, Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 3rd Class Hassan A. Caldwell, Yeoman 3rd Class Kelsey P. Fairbanks, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Hazel T. Holbrook, Yeoman 3rd Class Kloni J. Mitchell, Engineman3rd Class Celene Prado-Flores, Engineman 3rd Class Erika Ruiz, Quartermaster 3rd Class Tatianna Watts, Yeoman 3rd Class Saquaia S. Weaver, Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Kaitlyn Cox, Engineman Fireman Chinee Estrella, Engineman Fireman Nellisha Gonzales, Seaman Jelisea Brown, Seaman Melisacaye Diaz, Seaman Nina A. Kettles, Seaman Apprentice Tiana B. Street, Seaman Apprentice Marielle A. Aguila, and Seaman Recruit Jhooselin A. Contreras.