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    A Clear Path to a Second Chance

    A Clear Path to a Second Chance

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Anica Simmons | Cadets from the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy visit the Michigan State Capitol on...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Anica Simmons 

    Michigan National Guard

    A new bill recently signed into law will allow young people a chance to change the course of their futures by providing a defined path to juvenile record expungement. Representative John Bizon sponsored the bill, which provides the first specific path to expungement in Michigan.

    Under the provisions of the new law, any young person with not more than three misdemeanors, including not more than one offense that would be considered a felony if committed by an adult, can have their juvenile record expunged upon the completion of the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy.

    Expungement is nothing new. The bill, however, clearly defines the steps one can take to guarantee a judge will set aside adjudication. The main step is to graduate from the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy.

    The Academy, now recruiting for its 39th class, is a residential program that offers educational credit recovery, job preparation, and life coping skills at no cost to participants. As a National Guard program, the Academy maintains a military environment and provides the structure that many young people need to regain control of their own lives.

    Cadets ages 16 to 18 from various backgrounds and situations come to Battle Creek, where the Academy is located, every January and July to begin the six-month program. Robert Vaught, acting director of the Academy, said the program helps its cadets in many different ways.

    “Each cadet has a story that is unique,” said Vaught. “Some need discipline, some need credit recovery, and some just need some help getting motivated. We can provide all of that and give our cadets something that every young person should have: pride in themselves.”

    While many teenagers may shy away from a military school, graduates of the academy claim they miss the structured, encouraging environment after they graduate. Austin Miller, a graduate of Class 36, said attending the Academy was the best thing he could ever do for himself.

    “I needed someone to help me see that I could be proud, happy and successful,” said Miller. “I found my courage, I developed a sense of pride, and I realized I loved the structure. I would suggest the Academy to any teenager who feels lost.”

    The Academy will be starting the next cycle on July 22, 2018. For more information, please call 800-372-0523.



    Date Taken: 04.26.2018
    Date Posted: 05.18.2018 11:12
    Story ID: 275261
    Location: LANSING, MI, US
    Hometown: BATTLE CREEK, MI, US

    Web Views: 72
    Downloads: 0