2010 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|Honolulu||National Guard Youth Challenge Program
|Juan Williams accepts the award from Director Mueller.|
In Honolulu, the National Guard Youth Challenge Program works to intervene in and reclaim the lives of high school dropouts, providing program graduates the skills they need to succeed. Since its establishment in 1994, more than 2,578 cadets have graduated from the program, with more than 2,200 earning their high school degree.
For 15 years, the Youth Challenge Academy, located in Kapolei, Hawaii, has worked to help youth, utilizing a two-phase plan for success. The initial residential phase is a five-and-a-half-month program that focuses on education and self-discipline. The second phase lasts for a year and pairs teens up with mentors.
On average, the program reaches about 400 teens a year, through two sessions of 200 graduates. Teens can be placed in the program through school counselors, the court system, and voluntarily.
By providing participants with the education needed to earn a high school degree, the Youth Challenge Program enables teens to contribute to society after graduation. The program opens cadets’ eyes to opportunities in higher education, the military, and other employment opportunities. Through their work, the Hawaii National Guard Youth Challenge Academy staff continue to change the lives of at-risk youth.