Iwakuni teens have ‘nothing’ to complain about
When Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni holds the Youth Concerns Council meeting Tuesday night, chances are officials will hear a whole lot of “nothing.”
That’s what teens on the base say they have to do, outside of attending school and a few other activities, according to Devin Miller, 15, a student at Matthew C. Perry High School.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the base chapel. The “goal is for the teens … to voice any and all of their concerns,” said Maj. Matthew D. Razvillas.
As station inspector, Razvillas will chair the meeting. The principal, vice principal and several counselors from Perry High School are to attend, as will Marine and Family Services representatives and about 100 teenagers.
Devin said he has a good idea of what many teenagers will say.
“There just isn’t much (to do),” he said. “Even the Teen Center … it schedules as many events as possible, but they have budget restraints. We have some kind of event only about once a month.”
Razvillas said his office has no pre-set agenda for the meeting “other than to listen, learn and provide the opportunity for the teens to be heard.”
The office recently circulated a questionnaire at the high school. The results are under review, but relevant issues are likely to be addressed at the meeting.
Teenagers mention the development of an arcade on base as a quality-of-life upgrade, Devin said.
“They have a few games at the Crossroads Mall, but if we want to go to a real arcade,” he added, “we have to walk at least 20 minutes somewhere off base.”
In addition, more events encouraging interaction with local Japanese teenagers and those from other bases tops the list for many of Devin’s friends.
“I’ve been here about two years now,” he said. “In that time, there were three or four times for us to do something together … once with Iwakuni teenagers … and twice, maybe three times … always with Sasebo teens.”
Razvillas said officials are looking for programs to keep teens “learning while having fun.” One such idea would be more cultural events with teens in town and expanding an internship program on the air station, he said.