Thirteen Liberty County teens were among more than 122 youth to graduate from the Georgia National Guard's Youth Challenge Academy during commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Macon City Auditorium.
Marcus J. Scott, Kyn-Yari S. Threat, Angelica R. Brown, Malcolm D. Gieger, Travis L. Houston, Melody L. Jensen, Matthew P. Kipke, Ashley M. Martinez, Markcus T. Snowden, Tevin J. Wiggins, Antonio L. Britton, Robert L. Kirkham II, and Jake R. Schulz are members of Class 2008-4 of Fort Stewart’s YCA program.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle delivered the commencement address.
Georgia's YCA is a 22-week residential youth program for teens 16-18 who have dropped out of school. The military-style program provides them with the opportunity to complete basic academic courses leading to a high school diploma or GED. The voluntary program also provides teens valuable life skills training, emphasizing academic, physical fitness and personal discipline.
The Georgia National Guard operates two YCA campuses in Georgia, the original campus at Fort Stewart and a campus at Fort Gordon near Augusta. To date, more than 8,000 formerly "at-risk" teens have graduated from the state’s programs.