State's most successful youth program to hold Family Day Saturday

By Nancy Cook |

Published 06/05 2014 12:18PM

Updated 06/05 2014 12:22PM

MINDEN, La.The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program cadets will perform a pass in review ceremony during Family Day at 10 a.m. Saturday at Camp Minden.


More than 200 cadets make up the 2014-1 class that began Feb. 13 and is scheduled to end with graduation July 19.


The formal pass in review ceremony is a timeless military tradition that is customarily conducted in a change of command ceremony.  During this family day, however, YCP cadets organize, manage, and lead the ceremony without assistance from staff. 


The ceremony will take place at the field in front of the Main Building (A100), and will demonstrate skills and discipline cadets have learned while enrolled in the program.


At the completion of the ceremony, cadets will be allowed to spend time with their families on the field behind the Assembly Hall (Bldg. 120). More than 2,000 family members and friends are expected to attend.


LT. Jason Montgomery, director of YCP at Camp Minden stated, “I thank you for your patience during our rescheduling and look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.  The cadets have done an incredible job preparing for the Pass and Review ceremony.  You should be proud of what your cadet has accomplished; we are close to the finish line but not complete yet.  I look forward to an exciting family day, let’s finish strong together.”


The mission of the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year-old adolescents, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary in order to succeed as productive citizens. 


The program offers young people an opportunity to improve their lives through participation in an innovative, alternative school and is administered at no cost to participants. All needs such as meals, bedding, classroom instruction and uniforms are provided free of charge.


This award-winning program has been recognized as one of the nation’s most effective and cost efficient programs for targeting at-risk youth.


Since 1994, more than 100,000 cadets have graduated nationwide with more than 20,000 being from Louisiana. Typically, approximately 1,400 teens graduate each year from three locations: Camp Beauregard near Alexandria, Camp Minden near Bossier City and Gillis W. Long Center near Baton Rouge.


More than 80 percent of teens that graduate from the two-phase program go on to further their education, join the work force or enlist in the military.

  • Approximately 80 percent of Louisiana YCP graduates receive their GED

  • More than 50 percent join the work force

  • Approximately10 percent join the military

  • Nearly 44 percent continue their education

  • Program participants have donated more than five million hours of community service

  • Programs have awarded graduates nearly 50,000 academic credentials


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