Cadets to graduate Saturday

By Journal Staff

MARSHALL — The Michigan Youth Challenge Academy will hold a graduation ceremony for 84 cadets of class No. 46 at the Marshall High School Football Stadium at 701 N. Marshall Ave., Marshall at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The voluntary academy is a cost-free alternative education program which offers at-risk youth the opportunity to change their future, said the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Of the 84 anticipated graduates in this cycle, 64 are earning their high school diploma while the remaining cadets will earn their General Education Development certificate or continue their academic pursuits towards earning their high school diploma.

“This program provides young people with vocational training and fundamental life skills necessary to be successful in life,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, in a news release. “Over the past 22 weeks, these cadets have shown great progress in furthering their education and preparing for success outside the academy.”

As part of the curriculum, cadets participate in drill and ceremony formations, meet physical fitness standards, receive classroom instruction and participate in community service.

The graduating class consists of cadets from across the state, hailing from 39 counties: Alcona, Baraga, Barry, Bay, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Charlevoix, Eaton, Genesee, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Leelanau, Lenawee, Livingston, Luce, Macomb, Marquette, Mason, Midland, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oakland, Oceana, Ottawa, Shiawassee, St. Joseph, Van Buren, Wayne and Wexford.

“We partner with Marshall Public Schools to provide access to an enriched curriculum which, when paired with vocational training, provides our cadets with a well-rounded academy experience,” said Michael Gillum, director of the MYCA, in a news release. “We’re excited for our graduating cadets to take the lessons they learned here at the academy and apply them in their pursuit of additional education or career aspirations.”

Candidates for the academy are 16 to 18 years old and are at risk of not graduating high school. Because of the voluntary nature of the program, applicants cannot be mandated to attend by parents or the justice system. The program is free to participants and there is no requirement for military obligation.

Class No. 47 will begin on July 17, 2022. To begin the application process, interested youth and parents are invited to attend an upcoming virtual orientation. These orientation sessions are a mandatory part of the application process. To schedule an orientation, contact: Joan Miller at 269-968-1368 (western Michigan and Upper Peninsula) or Frank Vasquez at 269-968-1397 (eastern Michigan and Upper Peninsula).

Graduates of the MYCA are eligible for the Michigan Job Challenge program if they are physically and mentally capable of participation. The program focuses on career preparation and continues to provide opportunities for academic accreditation. Visit www.michigan.gov/myca for more information.


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