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Youth ChalleNGe holds graduation

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(Keilee Templeman Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Graduation, as we know it, is a special time for seniors to celebrate the ending of high school and the beginning of real life, but it’s not the same for these young cadets.

Truthfully, it may be something even bigger to celebrate.
The New Mexico National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academy is another chance for those who choose to drop out of high school. This program gives older teens, ages 16 to 18, another go at a high school general equivalency diploma, also known as a GED.
These students go through two phases, phase one is the residential phase, which is 5 and a half months long and phase two is the post-residential phase, which is 12 months long.
In phase one (residential phase), the cadets learn character skills, such as leadership, self-discipline and responsibility. They are residents in a military environment and are required to give back to their community in 40 minimum hours of community service.
Not only do they learn academic responsibility, protocol and leadership habits, but they also learn general hygiene and health, the importance of fitness and selfless service.
In phase two (post-residential phase), the cadets are sent home, but will still be guided and monitored even being in the comfort of their own home.
Even upon going back home, these teenagers are continuing their education and will carry the traits and knowledge that they have learned into their every day lives.
Saturday, the New Mexico National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academy in Roswell, graduated 93 cadets. Among the 93 cadets graduating there were 22 cadet first-classes and six senior cadets. These teenagers have worked hard to get where they are and graduated as the Class of 2017 from this program.
Intern Keilee Templeman can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 302, or at intern@rdrnews.com.