National Guard Youth Challenge Program hosts Family Day

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program held Family Day on Sunday at The Gillis Long Center which included a pass and review.

CARVILLE - The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program held Family Day at The Gillis Long Center on Sunday morning.

More than 250 cadets make up the 2014 class that began on April 13 and is scheduled to graduate on September 13. 

Each platoon participated in a marching competition on Sunday and arrived in formation at the parade field in order to demonstrate the skills and discipline they have learned during the first five weeks of the program.

At the completion of the marching competition, the cadets were allowed to spend time with their families on the grounds surrounding the parade field. 

Guests were allowed to tour the facility barracks where the cadets reside while in the program. More than 2,000 family members and friends attended.

CPT. Jackie Manton, director of YCP at The Gillis W. Long Center said the day is great way to show what the cadets have already learned.

“Patience, perseverance, and most importantly the camaraderie they’ve made with each other,” Manton said. “It’s a beautiful day to sit under an oak tree, enjoy great food and spend time with loved ones.”

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 Youth Challenge Program offers young people an opportunity to improve their lives through participation in an innovative, alternative school.The program is administered to participants at no cost and 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, Louisiana graduates approximately 1,400 teens a year from three locations including Camp Beauregard near Alexandria and Camp Minden near Bossier City.

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