Liberty Utilities Apple Valley (Liberty Apple Valley) is proud to highlight its partnerships with local youth organizations like the Boys Scouts of America (Boy Scouts) and the Inland Empire Fire Explorer Association (Fire Explorers) to support the development of our area’s next generation of leaders. The partnerships are designed to educate and mentor local youth, while providing valuable professional and leadership experiences.
“Liberty Apple Valley and our team of local employees take great pride in our role as a community partner, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with these amazing organizations and impressive young people,” said Liberty Apple Valley Vice President and General Manager Tony Penna.
Last summer, Liberty Apple Valley and local Boy Scouts Troop 257 pioneered a program through which prospective Eagle Scouts have the opportunity to complete their Eagle Project, while beautifying Apple Valley one fire hydrant at a time.
The collaboration benefits both the community and the prospective Eagle Scouts, who lead a team of volunteers to prep and paint a portion of the fire hydrants that Liberty Apple Valley maintains throughout the service area. Each Eagle Project includes the painting of approximately 50 fire hydrants, a task that can span a few weeks and teaches the scouts valuable lessons in leadership, project management, community service and work ethic.
Liberty Apple Valley assigns the fire hydrants based primarily on safety, selecting fire hydrants in low-traffic residential areas, and provides the scouts with materials from paint and brushes to safety vests and safety cones. Scouts working toward Eagle status must be between the ages of 14-18 to participate in the fire hydrant beautification project.
“Since we kicked off the program last summer, both scouts who have taken on the project have done an impressive job leading their teams,” said Liberty Apple Valley Environmental Health and Safety Manager Kevin Phillips. “The Boy Scouts have a long history of developing leaders, and we have been very impressed with the young adults who have worked with us thus far through the Eagle Project program.”
Phillips, who manages Liberty Apple Valley’s Environmental Health and Safety Department, developed the Eagle Scout program with local scout leaders, and he has also been a pillar within the Fire Explorers for nearly three decades.
“I have been an explorer since I was 16, and it has taught me how to be a better leader, maturity and dedication,” said Fire Explorer Dilan Montage. “Kevin [Phillips] has taught me a lot in the time I’ve been an explorer, but the biggest thing is teamwork.”
As a representative of Liberty Apple Valley, Kevin Phillips has been instrumental in mentoring and guiding the development of tomorrow’s firefighters through the Fire Explorers since 1990. He has held the post of Senior Advisor for the Fire Explorer program for the last two decades, and he also serves as a Board Member and Logistics Officer for the Inland Empire Fire Explorer Association, helping to develop curriculum and lead training exercises at the nearby Ft. Irwin and Mile High Pines academies.
“I really enjoy working with the young adults who aspire to one day help the community as firefighting and public safety professionals,” Phillips said. “The Fire Explorers program is a way for these individuals to dip their toes in the water to see if firefighting is the career for them. Additionally, they benefit from the experience by gaining valuable lessons in leadership and teamwork.”
For additional information about Liberty Apple Valley or to learn more about its community partnerships, customers are encouraged to visit www.libertyutilities.com or check out @LibertyUtilitiesAppleValley on Facebook.
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