Offutt Airman selected as Senate Youth Program military mentor

  • Published
  • By L. Cunningham
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

An Offutt officer is one of 12 military members selected as an Armed Forces ambassador in support of the 60th Annual U.S. Senate Youth Program Washington Week, scheduled for March 6-9, 2022.

Capt. Nitin Prashar, 55th Intelligence Support Squadron, has been designated as assistant senior military mentor this year. This is his second time in the mentoring program, previously serving as a mentor to kids ages 16, 17 or 18 years old in 2019.

“It sounded like the perfect program to give back,” said Prashar. “It is a world-class program. My participation in 2019 left me wide-eyed and amazed. It’s interesting to see these kids, to see what they are already doing and how inspiring it is. If anybody had a lack of confidence in our future, these delegates will totally remove that because they are so politically engaged and so active in general and they are just getting started.”

Prashar was selected out of 48 semi-finalists to represent their individual service component and serve as a role model. According to the committee selecting the finalists, these military members represent the broadest range of military skills, geographic assignments and leadership experiences.

“Our role there is to facilitate conversation, accountability and security; to foster a relationship with the students in a mentorship/mentee role and show them we are not there in the capacity as recruiters,” said Prashar. “A lot of people aren’t familiar with what the military does or the lifestyle. We are to remain apolitical to political issues. These delegates are exposed to all these high-profile speakers and venues and it’s our job to make sure that they are adhering to decorum, comportment and just respectfully engage with one another.”     

The program selects two high school juniors or seniors from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to attend the week-long program.

“To be able to go back is a very humbling opportunity,” said Prashar, “I think it’s nice to gain and better to give. I think that kind of struck a chord with me, my upbringing on what I had and didn’t have, and just the opportunity to engage with these kids, these leaders. They are already operating mentally on a level probably much better than most of us have seen, and I have never seen anything like it.” 

This year’s event will be virtual due to health mandates.