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    MYCA Welcomes Class No. 32

    MYCA accepts Class No. 32

    Photo By Master Sgt. Helen Miller | Amontray Bell, Kalamazoo, Mich., gets a new coat at the Michigan Youth Challenge...... read more read more

    BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES

    01.18.2015

    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller 

    Michigan National Guard

    BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - Michigan Youth Challenge Academy, Battle Creek, Mich., welcomes Class No. 32.

    MYCA offers young people between the ages of 16 to 18 the opportunity to change their lives and make a future for themselves. The academy is a 17.5 month, two phase program. The program incorporates eight core components that encourage physical, mental and moral development.

    The students are supervised at all times and remain at the facility unless they are participating in an approved off-site activity. Students march in formation to and from activities, and join in daily physical fitness and life-skill programs. Meals, housing and uniforms are provided and there are no costs to the cadet or their families for participation in the program. MYCA is paid for by the U.S. Department of Defense and the State of Michigan. Although the program is administered by the Michigan National Guard, there is no military obligation for participation.

    The Academy is able to provide a second chance to youths that need it, by helping students learn self-discipline, develop skills that will help them find and keep a job, receive computer training, receive physical training, develop life coping skills and participate in Vocational and technical training. Students also have an opportunity to earn a General Education Diploma and earn up to 21 college credits.

    New student Jordon Keigley of Holland, Michigan, has been in the Juvenile justice system for the last year and is ready to make some changes. He says he has no intentions of joining the military but is ready to go through the program and be a better person.

    His mother, Rachael Pierson, says, “ I am not expecting miracles, I would just like to see him grow up and find out who he really is and gain maturity and discipline.”

    Male and female high school dropouts or potential dropouts between the ages of 16 to 18 have the opportunity at a second chance to achieve the skills they need to be successful in life. The program isn’t easy. The students put in long days and have little free time. Every day they are challenged mentally and physically. Parents drop their children off at the academy and leave them for 22 weeks, with very little contact.

    Victoria Bell of Kalamazoo, whose son is attending said, “I know he [Amontray Bell] has got this. I know it will be hard but he will do well, he has to.”

    Even though Victoria may have had tears in her eyes she was smiling with hope her son will complete the program and go on the bigger and better things.

    The Students of Class No. 32 are scared. The parents of class 32 are sad but hopeful, and the Michigan Youth challenge staff is prepared to do what they can to give the students a second chance to realize their dreams.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.18.2015
    Date Posted: 01.20.2015 14:21
    Story ID: 152296
    Location: BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, US

    Web Views: 172
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN