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Solano County Juvenile Detention Center benefits from Travis Air Force Base PT Initiative

28 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

At Travis Air Force Base, Sgt. Sebastian Borges spearheads a physical training program at the Solano County Juvenile Detention Center.

Solano County Juvenile Detention Center benefits from Travis Air Force Base PT Initiative - Inmate Lookup

At Travis Air Force Base in California, an Airman is strengthening community bonds by initiating a physical training (PT) program at the Solano County Juvenile Detention Center (SCJDC).

The program has successfully cultivated relationships between the Air Force base, the correctional facility, and nearby juveniles over the past year.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sebastian Borges, a Phoenix raven from the 60th Security Forces Squadron and the PT program coordinator, took the initiative to reach out to SCJDC, and his proposal to lead the program was accepted.

Borges has been actively involved with the participants for nearly a year, noting that after the workouts, the young individuals gain confidence to tackle their daily tasks despite the challenging circumstances they face.

The SCDJC program includes high school students, aged 16–19, from the surrounding areas, primarily Stockton, Suisun City, and Fairfield, as the majority of PT participants.

Being a native of Vallejo, California, Borges joined the Air Force at age 19 with the aspiration of entering the law enforcement profession. His local background enables him to understand the community better and build relationships with the youth.

Borges highlighted his desire to make a positive impact in the community, which served as a significant motivation for initiating the program. With a longstanding desire to serve, whether as an airman or in local law enforcement, Borges recognizes the importance of giving back to the community.

The program holds particular significance as it addresses troubled youth throughout the Bay Area. Borges emphasized that many Airmen residing off base in the local community actively contribute to this program, providing an avenue to give back.

One participant reported feeling more driven and ambitious after one of the sessions, even going so far as to say they felt like they could “run up the side of a mountain.”

Borges met Julie Hilt, founder of Alternative Restorative Communities, through the program. ARC collaborates with community partners to create programs that address racial and ethnic disparity in the juvenile justice system at SCJDC, according to their webpage.

Hilt commended individuals like Sebastian and others in the program for creating a rich melting pot and highlighted the surprising lack of awareness among youth in Fairfield about the presence of the Air Force base.

Borges, realizing his role as an airman and a member of the community, found that he could be a mentor to these adolescents. He emphasized the reciprocal nature of mentorship and claimed that the mentee actually chooses their mentor.

Mentoring young individuals has provided Borges with a deeper appreciation for the stability in his career and family life and reinforces the importance of leading the youth to provide them with similar opportunities.

The overarching goal of the PT program is to assist in redirecting youth to reintegrate into the community after completing their time in the facility. According to Kelvin Brooks, Solano County Senior Juvenile Correctional Counselor, the PT program is the first of its kind at the Solano County Juvenile Detention Center.

Brooks emphasized the program’s positive impact, providing young men with an additional avenue for improvement and fostering a sense of community when Airmen in uniform support them at the facility.

Borges sees the program as an opportunity to understand how different people respond to situations and further develop his own leadership style. He underscores the need for motivated airmen and civilians to establish a consistent, reliable source of mentorship that youth can consistently access.

Looking ahead, Borges envisions the program continuing to motivate and inspire youth for future success.