Camp Minden Youth Challenge Program interview process open for local teens

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The interview process is open for the National Guard Youth Challenge Program (YCP) at Camp Minden, which works to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16 to18 year-old youths. Participating teens graduate with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.

Teens get accepted after an interview process with their parent or guardian. There’s an interview set for June 27th at Camp Minden. For more on how to apply, visit:

See below for more on the program.

The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program (YCP) is an alternative educational program which offers adolescents an opportunity to change their future.
Students looking for a way to succeed outside of a traditional school setting learn self discipline, leadership, and responsibility while working to obtain a high school equivalency diploma.

Led by professionals who emphasize discipline and education, this unique two part program teaches core academics and life skills, and encourages young people from all walks of life to become productive and accomplished in their chosen field.

In total, YCP is a 17 month program which consists of two phases. During the 5 month Residential Phase, students live on site at one of the three locations: Camp Minden near Shreveport, Camp Beauregard in Central Louisiana, and The Gillis W. Long Center near Baton Rouge. During this phase, students attend school, receive individual counseling and are supervised 24 hours per day.

After graduation, students return home and enter the 12 month Post Residential Phase. During this phase, which is designed to help students continue in a positive direction, graduates are assisted by YCP case managers and community mentors to continue their education, enroll in college, begin job training, find employment, or enlist in the military. The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program encourages teamwork, personal growth, and development through Eight Core Components:

1. Life Coping Skills: Learn strategies and coping mechanisms for managing personal life through participation in classes on anger management, stress management, conflict resolution, goal setting, money management, and personal hygiene.

2. Academic Excellence: Attend daily classes with certified instructors in order to improve math and reading skills while working toward earning a high school equivalency diploma.

3. Job Skills: Explore career options through assessment, planning, and skills training while learning resume writing and interview preparation techniques.

4. Responsible Citizenship: Gain an understanding of government structure and civic responsibilities while learning the importance of cultural awareness, violence prevention, and how to be a positive community member.

5. Leadership/Followership: Learn positive leadership qualities and gain character development skills necessary to be a good follower and a valued member of society through understanding of social group roles and responsibilities.

6. Health & Hygiene: Understand the correlation between good health and hygiene habits and lifelong physical, mental, and emotional well being through participation in tobacco education, substance abuse, sexual responsibility, and nutrition courses.

7. Service to the Community: Understand the value of volunteerism and giving back to the community by completing 40 hours of service to the community and conservation projects.

8. Physical Fitness: Improve physical fitness through participation in military styled physical training, running, and organized sports designed to to encourage a lifelong commitment to physical well being.

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