Graduate Tati'Anna, F
I personally volunteered for the Youth Challenge Program. I watched my brother skip a year of high school because of YCA and he graduated with his diploma in class #45 so I followed behind him in class #46. The first day wasn’t a fairy tale, they call the first two weeks hell weeks. Hell it surely was, probably two of the hardest weeks of my life. We had 60 girls from all over Georgia in one room. That’s 60 different personalities and 60 different attitudes. I myself was not the perfect cadet if anything one of the worse from the females. I was hot-headed and hated taking instructions from anyone, which made my stay 20x worse. I’m not proud of it at all. I got into probably the most fights out of all the girls because I kept bumping heads with the other females. After two weeks Major Mayfield brought me to his office and flat out asked me “what’s is wrong Flowers, T?” Why are you so angry? Those two questions took me by shock, never has anybody taken the time out to just ask me what was wrong. But me being me, I didn’t answer. He sent me back to my platoon and took the time out of his day to call my mother to get the truth. My mother told him about my father not being in my life all the wrong my father had done and what an impact it had on me. So, the next day he called me back to his office and told me to take a seat. He then told me everything my mother told him so now he knew all the things that broke me on the inside. He explained to me while I’m in that program he will never turn his back on me. He will never allow harm to ever come to me. He wanted me to know what my father did does not define my future. And from that day forward things started to turn around for me. Not only did I leave this program with my high school diploma I left with a new outlook on life and lifelong family and friends. But to top it all of I was certified in CPR and First Aid. It’s so many amazing experiences we have while in the program. Most things I probably wouldn’t have never done in my life. Like Zip-lining, rappelling, jumping off an 18-foot poll, swimming lessons, student council, basketball, track, drill, and the list just goes on. YCA Is an Amazing Program I’m Proud To Be A Lady Phoenix
Graduate Grace A.
I went to YCA on my 17th birthday on July 19, 2015 and graduated on Dec 19, 2015. I was kicked out of my house and had nowhere else to turn to, so I ended up at YCA to try and finish high school to have more opportunities further in life. At first, it was very hard. I had trouble opening up to the other cadets and cadre. But over time we all grew into one big family even though each of our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different. Yes, there were bad days, but the good ones are the ones that have stuck with me all these years. I ended up getting close to SGT Henry and SGT White and still are in contact with them now. YCA taught me so much that I have used every day in life now that I never even thought about. When I graduated, I ended up going to the Army shortly after and went to MEPS. I was sadly discharged for medical reasons and not being able to complete training from being in the hospital. Once again, I was devastated from failing and not being able to make it, but I stayed strong and knew that I still had so many people at YCA rooting for me.
Fast forward to now, I was adopted by a beautiful and loving family that I have grown so close to. I work in law enforcement doing investigations and I am currently training for Georgia State Patrol. I am still in contact with SGT Henry and her family even 5 years later after graduating. My outlook on life has changed so much since graduating from YCA. Before, I had nothing to look forward to and now I am achieving my goals one by one even though being set back some each time. The life skills that I have learned there have put in an amazing place for being only 21.
Graduate Kameryn, L.
My name is Kameryn Lavender. I graduated YCA in Milledgeville in April of 2019 Class 5. In the beginning, it was difficult. I say it was difficult because it’s a program for DIFFICULT KIDS! You go in not knowing what to expect. Sometimes there was arguing and fighting, sometimes things weren’t spotless and clean, sometimes we made our mistakes and that is NORMAL! But I will tell you this. Youth Challenge Academy Changed My Life for the Better. Youth Challenge gave me the strength mentally and physically to get through anything that comes my way in life. YCA taught me how to cope with anger and find motivation within myself. YCA taught me self-discipline, self-motivation, and to do the right thing. Youth Challenge showed me that My Education is Important! I can easily tell you that without this program, I would be a high school dropout on the streets doing drugs like I was doing before YCA. Things can go wrong in programs. You won’t find anything perfect. But I can guarantee that this program will forever do kids better than they were doing before the program. You walk into the doors of YCA with a choice. You can choose to give your best-effort or you can choose to never try. At the end of the day, everyone has that choice. Not only are you given that choice, but you’re given the motivation to do your best. SGT Porsche Johnson mentored me, counseled me, motivated me, and pushed me to do my best before I found my motivation within myself. She was my motivation to keep going until I found it through hard work and commitment. And she wasn’t the only TAC who did great things for us. Every TAC went out of their ways to support us and give us the motivation we needed. It’s a few TACs against 30+ Cadets. They do their best to help us, and in my experience, they changed my entire life.
Graduate: Sharrieff S.
Thanks to Youth ChalleNGe, Sharrieff feels that he certainly dodged the bullet of incarceration. Now he is a student at Atlanta Technical College taking an Avionics Bench Technician course, and will soon be transferring to Middle Georgia State University to finish obtaining his private pilot's certificate. Without Youth ChalleNGe giving him a second change, he says none of this would have been possible.
Graduate: James W.
I graduated from Fort Stewart Youth ChalleNGe Academy in June 2005. I joined the US Army in September 2005, and served 12 years before getting out this past July. If it wasn't for attending YCA, I probably wouldn't be were I'm at right now. This was definitely one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
Graduate: Devon S.
Since graduating from the Milledgeville Youth ChalleNGe Academy in October 2017, Devon has been a cook at Waffle House and has steadily increased his start pay of $7.25 to $10.25 per hour. Devon also just completed his first semester at West Georgia Tech studying welding. He has found his passion, and is excited to start more classes this summer!
Parent: Janie S.
My son was failing school, relationships, mostly himself. He was on a dangerous road heading for destruction. He went to Challenge when he was 16 years old. He learned and accomplished so much. He learned self-discipline, improved his self-esteem ten-fold, graduated high school with HONORS!! He became a man on the road to success. That was 17 years ago and he is one of the best men I have ever known. He says that Challenge was the best thing I ever did for him!! Thank you, Fort Stewart.
Parent: Amanda W.
I love this place. My son was going to end up dead or in jail before attending YCA. Now, he is very respectful and thinking about his future. He has done a complete turn around. I'm so thankful for this program. So happy my child could take part in something truely this special.
Parent: Tricia S.
This is an awesome place for kids who need structure in order to get themselves together. I saw my son for the 1st time in 6 weeks yesterday and he has changed so much. Best decision.
Graduate: Jelani J.
I am a YCA graduate; the program definitely did have challenges and hard times, but I feel like the program set me straight and prepared me to be a successful person later on in life.
Parent: Naomi V.
I'm happy that my daughter agreed to go to YCA and be away from all family and friends. We miss her, but we know she is doing her best to succeed in the program!!!
Parent: Monica T.
This program has done such an amazing job with my son in just 30 days! I already see a change in not only his attitude, but his will to better himself as a young man. I'm a single mom who had done all I knew to do with minimum help and I refused to allow him to fail at life. I battled with the idea of letting him join the program... but God, I prayed about it and just did it. Although my son wasn't happy at 1st, he is now really enjoying it. He has met new friends and he's learning so much about being independent. THANK YOU Milledgeville Youth Challenge Academy! I HIGHLY recommend any parent who feel as though they're losing all hope for their child to just try it.
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