Recruiters embrace social media to make mission

Sept. 27, 2011 | By kentuckyguard
Story by David Altom, Deputy Director, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky's high school athletes can now star in their own online broadcast channel thanks in part to a program sponsored by the Army National Guard. iHigh was born out of the idea of giving high school athletes the power to broadcast their sporting events and create their own personalized highlight reels. Quickly, iHigh realized that there are many more students in high school fully dedicated to extracurricular activities outside of the realm of sports. iHigh continued to expand their scope to cover everything from band to archery, BMX, to FFA. iHigh School students have been given the power to not only raise awareness of their own passions, but elevate their team to receive support from the school, community, and the country. Athletes and band members have been able to use their iHigh website and profile to compete for collegiate scholarships. "We saw the potential to reach students through social media and produced a customized iHigh site," said Mackenzie Hanes, education liaison for Kentucky Army National Guard Recruiting.  "The Kentucky National Guard as a sponsor for iHigh helps support live broadcasting at school sporting events by airing the game intro, and taking photos during the game." [caption id="attachment_10148" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Football is just one of the sporting events promoted on iHigh. (Photo by Sgt. Joseph Herrington, Kentucky Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command)"] Recruiting representatives  hand out cards that tell viewers to visit the Kentucky Guard iHigh site to view the photos and broadcasts. The career counselor for each school conducts an on air interview during the half time of the game and National Guard commercials are being aired during timeouts on the field. "In order to reach students who are not able to have their events aired live, the Guard is sponsoring iHigh for each Kentucky school," said JC Newton, recruiting marketing director. Coach Jamie Egli, Nelson County head football coach, is a fan.  His Sports Administration Class assumed the responsibilityfor populating and updating their iHigh site. "iHigh is a great way to get more kids involved in clubs and sports," said Egli.  "It has been very beneficial to our class and our school" Newton, a retired recruiter with 20 years of uniformed service, emphasized the partnership Guard career counselors are able to created with different departments throughout the schools. "We're attracting their best and brightest," he said.  "This is something we couldn't have even conceived of ten years ago.  It's revolutionary." Click here for more information on the Kentucky Army National Guard iHigh project.

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