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National Guard Launches Youth Challenge Academy

By Alabama Public Radio

Montgomery, AL – Guard officials announced yesterday the first-ever Youth Challenge Academy in the state will be held starting in January at Fort McClellan in Anniston. Congress first authorized the program in 1993 and they made it permanent for troubled teens five years later. Lieutenant Colonel Bob Horton, a Guard spokesman, said the multiphase program will run 17 months for high school dropouts between 16 and 18 years of age. He said it is not a boot camp program. Horton said the goal is to teach kids life skills they can use to turn their lives around. Guard officials hope to enroll 150 teens from across the state in the first group. Nationwide, more than 62-thousand teens have graduated from the program. More than 70 percent of the graduates earned their GED or high school diploma.

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