Student enjoys helping community's youth

Anjuli Caskey has never let the mobile life of a military daughter discourage her—and neither has her dad.

To remove the stress of constantly moving, her father settled his family in Dover, while taking an assignment in New Jersey.

Over the years, to keep herself occupied, she started volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club on Dover Air Force Base, where she helps middle school students understand basic concepts of respect and social skills.  It’s because of these contributions she was named Delaware’s Boys and Girls Club Military Youth of the Year.  

MORE ABOUT CASKEY FAVORITE SUBJECT Science FAVORITE SPORT Cross country SIBLINGS Younger brother and sister She’s displayed her leadership skills by spearheading a program at Caesar Rodney High School called the CR Ambassadors, where they help students transition to a public school setting.

Caskey, 17, also finds time to give back to the community by volunteering at veterans organizations, or taking food to homeless shelters.

Her service to the community was highlighted on April 12 when Gov. Jack Markell recognized it as a Day of Recognition of the Military Child in Delaware.

Why did you enter?

The youth center’s staff approached me and said, ‘You should do this – you’d be a great person for it and it would look good on a college application!’ When I really thought about it, I didn’t want to do it just for the college application. It was a chance to give back to the youth center.

How do your efforts help the state’s youth?

I think it really opens up their eyes. A lot of middle schoolers have a closed mind about [working with volunteers]. When I do different activities with them they really have a fun time and enjoy it. It keeps them motivated. In a sense it makes them realize they have so many opportunities and by doing a little extra work they’re able to reach them.

What challenges does a military kid face?

I have to prioritize everything. In order to survive through the week I have to prioritize my homework and schoolwork.

Sometimes a kid has not one parent in the military but two. Sometimes you have deployments back to back. It puts a lot of stress on one parent, especially if that parent is always working.

Adapting to those things is huge. On average, a dozen things change in a military brat’s life if you move.

Why do you volunteer?

I get more joy out of helping other people than I do going to an arcade. A lot of times you need a chance to look at someone else’s story who didn’t have the opportunity to share their story the way I have.

I get more happiness. I feel better. I feel like I accomplished something that day. I’m not just sitting on the couch watching television for eight hours straight.

What keeps you moving forward?

Growing up my dad always told me, no matter how hard things get it’s never really that hard. No matter how my day goes there’s always something positive that happens.