FLINT TWP. — A member of the Shiawassee County Young Marines paid a visit to a recent township board meeting to observe and to share information about the youth service organization.
“I am here to learn about how government works,” said Young Marine Master Sgt. Michael Borka, who is a sophomore at Swartz Creek High School.
For the second year in a row, he also is the Regimental Young Marine of the Year, representing the state of Michigan.
He explained that YM is a non-profit youth organization designed to strengthen the lives of America’s youth by educating them to live a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. Core values include discipline, leadership and teamwork.
“It is not a recruiting program like what most people think,” Borka said.
The service and education program is open to youth ages 8 to 18 or graduation for high school. There are 17 units in Michigan including one in Genesee County based in Burton and Borka’s unit which is based in Durand.
Asked if he planned to join the Marine Corps. when he graduates from high school, Borka said no.
“My plan is to hopefully get into the University of Michigan and do the Naval ROTC program,” he said.
Young Marines also are active in community service including headstone cleaning at the Great Lakes National Cemetery and at the Flint Cemetery near Pasadena and Linden Roads.
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said she was pleased to have Borka attend the board meeting and encouraged him to continue doing public service.
“I did not know and I daresay most of us did not know about the group.” Miller said. “The more we learn about it, the more we can point people in this direction.”
Trustee George Menoutes told Borka he seemed to have the potential to move to Flint Township and run for office.
Borka responded that perhaps he would consider that in about 10 years.
Young Marines was founded in Connecticut in 1959, starting with one unit and a handful of boys. It has grown to more than 300 units serving 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, Washington D.C. and affiliates abroad.