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New National Cadet Programs Team Member

Posted on May 19, 2021 at 4:45 PM by Elizabeth Hornbach

I am very excited to join the National Cadet Team as the Program Manager for Youth Development Training. Positive youth development is my passion and my life’s work; it’s a passion I developed in my 20+ years in Civil Air Patrol. I joined CAP at 14 years old and it forever changed my life. The program molded and developed me into the leader I am today and gave me experiences that I draw from every day in my adult life. I know first-hand the importance and success of the Cadet Program and I am excited to utilize my professional experience in youth development to grow the opportunities for CAP cadets. 

The new Program Manager for Youth Development Training position supports the adult leaders serving in the Cadet Program as they continue to learn and improve in the areas of youth mentoring, experiential education, squadron operations, and other areas important to cadet life.

I couldn’t be more excited to take on this role within the organization, as it aligns with my passions, education, experience and my personal fondness for CAP. 

A Little Bit About Me

Over the years I’ve lived in various parts of the country, but I currently live outside of Philadelphia. I grew up in Philly and spent at lot of my teen years (and most of my 20s & early 30s) with CAP at the Hawk Mountain Search and Rescue School, just 1.5 hours north of me. I was active in various part of the organization (including IACE, Cadet Commander of my home squadron, CAC, etc.), and I really thrived in the leadership opportunities and personal challenges that were allotted to me at Hawk Mountain.

I hold a M.Ed. in Alternative Education and a Bachelor’s in Professional Writing. I have spent my professional career in leadership at various youth development organizations including the Girl Scouts, the American Youth Foundation and most recently as the Youth Programs Manager and Summer Camp Director at Tyler Arboretum (a public garden in Media, PA). 

In my spare time I enjoy hiking, canoeing, rock climbing and camping. Traveling is another passion of mine and I have visited 8 countries, so far. 

My Youth Development Philosophy

In my experience as a youth development professional and out of school time educator, I found the best results when I was able to provide youth with well-rounded, hands-on experiences that ignited youth’s curiosity for knowledge while developing core competencies that every person needs to be successful in life. I believe in integrating strong community and relevant, experiential opportunities that include service and leadership.

Every activity has the potential to provide rich experiential learning: a simple hike in the woods, building a model rocket, a virtual learning session, organizing a weekly unit meeting, etc. With intention and framing, anything can become an additional context for a youth’s personal development, connecting them to real-world experiences that develop meaning and value.

As a passionate advocate of CAP, I’m enthusiastic about the impact the Cadet Program has on the youth of America. In my career I have worked for many prominent youth development and leadership organizations, and Civil Air Patrol surpasses them all. There is no match to the level of expertise and professionalism that comes from CAP cadets. I am passionate about developing the leaders of tomorrow and no organization is more exciting than CAP.

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