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Ten Youth Challenge grads from Liberty
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Ten Liberty County teenagers graduated from the Georgia National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy on March 6. They are: Alan J. Bacon, Malcolm Bearden, JaVontis D. Powell, Miguelangel N. Roberts and Marquis O. Heard, all of Hinesville; Demontre C. Cleary of Midway; Brandon L.Crowley of Fleming; Alvin L Houston III of Lauderhill; Brandon L. Kifer of Fort Stewart; and Justin A. Sanders of Allenhurst.
The teens were among 214 cadets who graduated at Augusta’s Fort Gordon in the Bell Auditorium.
The cadets completed the 22-week, in-residence program to learn self-discipline, leadership and responsibility while meeting the academic requirements to earn a GED or high school diploma.
Youth Challenge operates two campuses in Georgia. The original campus on Fort Stewart opened in 1993. The second campus opened at Fort Gordon in 2000. Both campuses have graduated more than 9,950 formerly at-risk students. Each year, more than 1,200 students apply for one of the four programs running concurrently at both campuses.
Applicants to Youth Challenge must be 16-18 years old, a high-school dropout or expelled, drug-free, have no felony convictions and have a desire to change the course of their lives.
 Brig. Gen. Robert L. Shannon, vice commander and chief of staff of the Georgia Air National Guard, was the commencement speaker.
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