Meridian Star

Local News

September 15, 2006

Youth ChalleNGe Academy now taking applications

The Mississippi National Guard Youth ChalleNGe is now taking applications for a session scheduled to begin Jan. 13.

Mississippi’s ChalleNGe program has been ranked the “Best Overall” ChalleNGe program of 29 such programs in the United States.

Located at the Mississippi National Guard Training Center at Camp Shelby, ChalleNGe is a five-month, residential military GED and Mentoring program for at-risk youth ages 16 to 18 who are not succeeding in a traditional school environment. It is not a boot camp, but organizers say it is very challenging.

The ChalleNGe Academy graduate two classes a year, with sessions beginning in January and July. Students who enroll must have a desire to make changes in their lives — physically, academically and emotionally. Both young men and young women are encouraged to apply. There is no tuition fee.

Important features of the Mississippi ChalleNGe include a chance for students to receive adult high school diplomas, a general education diplomas, and full first-year apprenticeships in a craft area with national certification and transcripts from the National Center for Construction, Education and Research. Students are also matched with adult mentors.

In the last 12 years, more than 4,600 students have graduated from the ChalleNGe Academy. Most of the graduates have easily found employment or have continued their education in colleges, technical schools or vocational schools. A large number have joined the military.

If you want to make changes in your life, take the responsibility for making it happen. Call (800)507-6253 or visit www.ngycp/state/ms for more information or an application.

Applications should be received by Nov. 15.

WHAT’S THE DEAL?

The capitalized “NG” in Mississippi National Guard Youth ChalleNGe stands for “National Guard.” For more information about this program, call (800) 507-6253 or visit www.ngycp/state/ms.

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