JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON – For Tyrell Williams, it was a whirlwind senior year. It started with a transfer from Washington, D.C., to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska with his dad, who serves in the Army. Then his classes at Eagle River High School were shut down in March because of COVID-19.
But thanks to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, he and other high school seniors were recognized for their achievements while many graduation ceremonies were sidelined.
“It was nice. I certainly wasn’t expecting it,” said Williams, who works for the Exchange in the stock room.
Williams and seven other high school seniors who are associates at the JBER Exchange were given certificates of recognition and gift bags at a small ceremony May 8.
The celebration was the brainchild of JBER Exchange General Manager CJ Morganfield.
“I had the opportunity to attend the ceremony for my master’s degree this past year and I understand the importance of this missed opportunity,” Morganfield said.
Receiving her own degree, plus getting the chance to see her daughter graduate from Georgia State University in December, spurred Morganfield to think about the Exchange’s high school associates.
“All the managers came together to create gift baskets to present to the seniors as their pictures were taken in their honor,” Morganfield said.
Seven of the Exchange’s 11 high school senior associates were able to attend. All of the students are children of active-duty service members or Veterans.
Joseph Tovar, who works at the Exchange Burger King, attended Anchorage Christian Schools. Like other schools, it shut down its physical campus in March.
“It was great to get noticed,” he said of the Exchange’s simple ceremony. “It was kind of a weird senior year, but everything worked out.”
The Exchange wanted to provide a semblance of normalcy for the students after their final year changed drastically because of COVID-19, Morganfield said.
“The Exchange depends on them a lot,” Morganfield said. “They work hard for us, especially considering that they come in after school and devote so much time to us.”
Facebook-friendly version: With graduation ceremonies sidelined, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service recognized teen associates at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson with a special ceremony. Read more here: https://wp.me/p9Q7PG-1nz.
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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 62nd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.3 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.
For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Loyd Brumfield, 214-312-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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