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137 cadets celebrate graduation

By Shannon Ballard 8:29 PM February 28, 2014

22 weeks can change dozens of lives

ANCHORAGE – More than 100 cadets graduated from the Alaska Military Youth Academy’s ChalleNGe Program Friday.

The 137-member group was comprised of high school dropouts from across the state.

The ChalleNGe Program provides them with a military environment that has structure and discipline.

The focus is on academics, physical fitness, vocational training and community service.

The academy says graduation is a rewarding moment for cadets unfamiliar with success.

“When they walk across that stage today, everyone who is sitting in the audience is cheering their success, cheering them for making that decision and knowing that when they go around in the community people are going to see them and say ‘hey, I saw you walk across that stage. I want to encourage you. Keep on going,’” said AMYA Deputy Director, James Jones.

The ChalleNGe Program helped several of the cadets earn their GEDs. Many now have plans to go back to high school, join the military or attend college.

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