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Meet Alex and Derek! Childcare Professionals within Child and Youth Programs

Early childhood professionals often choose to work in the field because they had a positive impact from experiences as a child

Alex Martinez, a Program Assistant at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point in North Carolina, grew up in the Marine Corps’ Child and Youth Programs (CYP). As an infant and toddler, she attended a family child care home while her mom worked as a program assistant on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California. 

Martinez’s journey, from being a child benefitting from the CYP to now serving as a program assistant at MCAS Cherry Point, is a testament to the transformative power of early childhood experiences. 

Her firsthand understanding of the impact these programs can have, fuels her dedication to providing the same nurturing environment and support to the next generation of children. 

Through her work, Alex continues to pay forward the care and guidance she received, ensuring that every child can thrive and succeed, just as she did. 

Derek Wojtczak, a military dependent, started participating in the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Youth Sports Program at age 5.  

With his stepfather often deployed, he found solace and purpose in the camaraderie and structure the program provided.  

When he aged out of the Youth Sports Program, Wojtczak became integral to the Teen Volunteer Program. His dedication and natural leadership qualities quickly became apparent. 

Wojtczack’s commitment and passion for the program caught the attention of the staff, and when he applied for a staff position, he was selected as the best candidate.  

Wojtczak has found fulfillment in his new role, helping shape the lives of other military children just as the program had shaped his. 

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