National Guard Academy Targets At-Risk Youth

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Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr is Indiana's Adjutant General. Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr is Indiana's Adjutant General.

Indiana's adjutant general says the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy in Knightstown continues to make a difference by offering at-risk teenagers a second chance. The academy, which was established in 2007, will Saturday celebrate another graduating class. The program uses quasi-military training, structure and discipline for students between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of school or are severely deficient in credits.

In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Major General Courtney P. Carr said the odds are stacked against young people who do not have a high school diploma. 

"This program allows young men and women that second chance to get life skills, discipline, structure and their high school equivalency," said Carr. "Sixty-two percent of the participants in this program get their high school equivalency during the program. Thirty percent of the kids will graduate with some amount of college credit through Ivy Tech and courses that are taught at (the academy). Ivy Tech and Lincoln Tech both give scholarships in large dollar amounts for kids to continue their education and several will go on to college, some go into trade schools, but every one these young men and women graduate with a life plan of what they're going to accomplish."

Carr says the academy is a way for the National Guard to work with communities to make a difference for young people in the state. 

The Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy's upcoming graduating class includes 61 students, all of whom received Ivy Tech Community College credits and more than two-thirds received their high school equivalency. The class also earned a total of $34,000 in scholarships from Ivy Tech and Lincoln Tech, while 36 students received certification credit in basic construction technology or basic carpentry.

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