LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2014) — The National Guard Bureau recently honored a staff member of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment for his impact on the state’s military youth and youth programs.
Tyrone Atkinson, program coordinator for Operation Military Kids at UK, received the Youth Development Volunteer Award from bureau chief Gen. Frank Grass at the National Volunteer Workshop in Oklahoma. Cindy Culver of the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort nominated Atkinson.
“Words cannot describe Tyrone’s passion and compassion for military kids and families,” said Culver, lead child and youth programs coordinator for the Cognitive Professional Services Company, a Kentucky National Guard contractor. “There’s never a request too large or small for Tyrone to handle, and he has shown great dependability and enthusiasm for his career and those he serves.”
Since 2009, Atkinson, a 2007 UKAg graduate from Louisville, has managed the day-to-day operations of UK’s Operation Military Kids contract with family and consumer sciences extension. He regularly collaborates with the military personnel to provide enriching programs to National Guard and Active Duty youth and families. In addition, he trains civilians on ways they can build a stronger community capacity to support military families, especially those facing or just returning from a deployment. Through several Department of Defense family and adventure camps, Atkinson and colleagues help military families reconnect after a deployment.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Tyrone,” said Kerri Ashurst, senior extension specialist in UK family and consumer sciences extension and director of the Operation Military Kids contract. “He gives so much of himself to our Kentucky military families. His passion is working to strengthen families, and it shows through in everything he does in his work with the military. He is so very deserving of this award.”