> On June 14, 116 cadets from the Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (OYCP) graduated from the rigorous five-month program for at-risk youth, including four youth from Madras and Warm Springs.
Graduates of the OYCP have earned a high school diploma, a GED or enough credits to return to high school.
. Jacob Scarlett of Madras earned enough credits to return to high school.
. Luis Vargas of Madras earned a high school diploma and made the honor roll.
. Matthew Alonso of Warm Springs earned a high school diploma and served on the drill team.
. Naydra Hicks of Warm Springs earned a high school diploma and served on the drill team.
Since 1995, more than 3,000 cadets from urban and rural areas of Oregon have entered the OYCP. The voluntary 17-month program provides at-risk youth ages 16 to 18 with a second chance to succeed.
Cadets work through a two-phase program, beginning with an intensive residential program during which they develop life-coping skills, perform community service work and attend academic classes.
While in the program, cadets develop a life plan to outline clear and organized steps for continuing along the path of success after graduation.
The program, which is cost-free to cadets and their families, is followed by one year of mentoring. During this second phase of the program, the cadets receive encouragement and support in implementing their life plan as they re-enter their home environments.
Details about the Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program are available at www.oycp.com or by phoning (541)317-9623.