News & Events


July 28, 2017 at 10:59 am | By ASHLEY FOX Lake County Leader

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Coby Rodriques, 17, of Big Arm, holds one of his multiple awards he achieved during a 22-week program called Montana Youth Challenge Academy in June.

Local Youth Excels at MYCA

Written By Tyler Manning

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At first, Hezekiah Follet, 17, didn’t want to go to the Montana Youth Challenge Academy. He said that his primary concern was that he would be the only one from Wolf Point to go to the academy and that he wouldn’t know anyone there. A semester at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillion can seem daunting at first to its’ high-school age group.

Bozeman teen gains more discipline, confidence after graduating from academy.

By Whitney Bermes Chronicle Staff Writer

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Eric Dobler speaks with enthusiasm and passion about his 22 weeks at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy. "I think it’s probably the most rewarding thing you could ever do," said the 16-year-old Bozeman boy. The recent graduate thrived in the quasi-military environment the Montana Youth Challenge Academy offers its cadets on the campus of the University of Montana-Western in Dillon.× Dobler was one of 82 cadets who graduated from the Montana Youth Challenge Academy last month.

Eric Dobler, 16, is an avid hockey player and a recent stand out graduate of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon.

Photo:Rachel Leathe/Chronicle

Rising up

By Levi C. Flinn Big Horn County News Crow Agency’s

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Josiah Hugs was 17 when his daughter Ava was born. Knowing things were and would be tough on the path he had chosen, Hugs determined he needed to rise up and make a positive change for the sake of their lives.

Local Montana Youth Challenge graduate excels in leadership role.

Shepherd student finds right fit at Montana Youth Challenge Academy

Article By Mike Kordenbrock - Billings Gazette

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Despite a knack for woodwork and mechanics, Aaron Keever could never quite build an interest in academics. After days of sitting disinterested in class and struggling academically at Shepherd High School in front of half-filled notebooks, the now-18-year-old carpenter’s son came to a realization: What he was doing wasn’t working. "I just wasn’t motivated," Keever said. "I didn’t think anything would apply to the real world, all the stuff I was doing. So I was just like ‘Don’t really need it,’ (and) just kind of sat around."

Photo: BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

Local teens excel at Youth Challenge Academy

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Quinten Gilbertson displays a moment of triumph during a climbing session at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy at the University of Montana-Western in Dillon. Gilbertson attained the top leadership position of company commander during his time at the academy. (Photos courtesy of Montana Youth Challenge Academy)

Program helps youth move life forward.

Jenn Rowell, jrowell@greatfallstribune

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Cadet Jonathon Rabe receives an academic excellence ribbon at Youth ChalleNGe.Photo courtesy of Montana Youth ChalleNGe Academy.

School just wasn't working for Jonathon Rabe. "I always had trouble in school," he said. He struggled in the classroom with distractions and ADHD. During his junior year, he was hanging out with a tough crowd and was skipping class. "I was headed down a bad path," he said. That same year, his parents asked him if he wanted to participate in the Youth ChalleNGe Academy, a 22-week program through the Montana National Guard.

Jesse Chadwick

Jesse Chadwick

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That program saved my life. If more people understood the idea of civic duty, and social responsibility that you learn there, our world would only improve. Integrity. That is the core of a person of true value. Doing the right thing, even when no one is holding you accountable. Do that in life and you will make mistakes, I promise. But you can stomach it much easier. That's reality. MYCP isn't for everybody, but for those that are willing to work very hard to change-jump in. Both feet. Be deliberate. Take it seriously. Best of luck Derek. Class 2 Grad.

Getting back on track: Local youth self-enrolls in Youth Challenge Academy to clean up his act

ALEXANDER DEEDY Independent Record

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Derek Walter (right) who self-enrolled and graduated from Montana Youth Challenge and his uncle and mentor Russ Ring, pose for a photograph recently.  Getting back on track: Local youth self-enrolls in Youth Challenge Academy to clean up his act.



ALEXANDER DEEDY Independent RecordHelena Independent Record Thom Bridge, Independent Record


Montana Youth Challenge Academy gives teens a 2nd chance at success.

By Mike Ferguson, LARRY MAYER/Gazette Staff

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Daniel Rides Horse and Whitney Wegner, two of the most recent graduates of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon, said they credit their successful program completion to the discipline they learned and the care they received during their just-concluded five-month stints there.Daniel Rides Horse and Whitney Wegner, both of Billings, have recently graduated from the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon.

Montana youth academy gives teens a 2nd chance at success

By MIKE FERGUSON mferguson@billingsgazette.comThe Billings Gazette

Columbia Falls Teen Completes Youth Challenge Academy

By HILARY MATHESON/The Daily Inter LakeDaily Inter Lake

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Dakota Krissie of Columbia Falls has discovered his potential as a leader through the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon. "I never thought I had leadership parts in me at all," Krissie said. "I got there and I found out at the end I can be a good leader. And I was."

Dakota Krissie graduated from the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon on Dec. 20. He aims to enroll at Flathead Valley Community College next semester.

Columbia Falls Teen Completes Youth Challenge Academy


Youth Academy Reforms Children

December 30, 2014

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The Montana Youth Academy in Dillon offers opportunities for at-risk Montana children to help them through hard times and get their lives back in focus. Caleb Denny, a 17-year-old Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation youth, just finished his stint at the academy and said that he was glad he went.  Before he went to the academy, he said, he was drinking, smoking, "carrying-on," going to jail and such. But, now things are different.

Cadet Caleb Denny prepares to rappel down a wall at the Montana Youth Academy in Dillon.

Bitterroot students graduate from Montana Youth Challenge Academy


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Jacob Ewing and Shania Stevens both highly recommend participating in the program.  "It was difficult but well worth it," said Stevens. "It helped me realize what I can do on my own."

Donna Weidow, Shania Stevens, Jill Stevens and Paige Swenson help display the awards earned by Shania during her stay at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy.


Senior High student benefits from time in Montana Youth Challenge Academy

By Mike Ferguson

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Christian Rosco recently graduated form the Montana Youth Challenge Academy.

Jamie Kuck said she’s impressed with all the work her son, Christian Roscoe, put in during his recent 22-week stay at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon — and with the person he’s become after graduating from the program this month.




Larry Mayer/Gazette Staff

Missoula teen's life changes after going to Montana Youth Challenge Academy

By Keila Szpaller

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Sebastian Stoll, back in Missoula after graduating from the Montana Youth Challenge Adademy in Dillon, credits the program with giving him confidence and knowledge to succeed. Stoll now plans to attend the Trapper Creek Job Corps program near Darby.

A year ago, Sebastian Stoll wasn't good at making friends in school, and he used to be afraid of his stepmom.

Great Falls teen completes Youth ChalleNGe

Jenn Rowell, 5:43 p.m. MST December 20, 2014

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Hunter Gervais of Great Falls graduated from the Youth ChalleNGe Academy, a Montana National Guard program in Dillon, on Saturday.

For the last 22 weeks, the 16-year-old has been turning his life around.

He was starting to fail out of high school and was looking at transferring to Paris Gibson Alternative High or dropping out altogether when his mom told him about Youth ChalleNGe.

Hunter Gervais at the Youth ChalleNGe Academy in Dillon.(Photo: Courtesy photo)

MYC Academy Cadets March to Their Future

By 1st Lt. Ryan Finnegan

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On Sept. 2, students in Dillon, Montana woke early in their dormitory at the University of Montana Western to begin the day's lessons. Instead of a short walk to nearby classrooms to learn, however, these students boarded busses that drove them out of town, where they began a hilly nine mile march to the Birch Creek outdoor Education Center in the Pioneer Mountains.

The students were cadets attending the 31st class of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy (MYCA), which is a very different kind of school than most are used to. The hike to Birch Creek marked a new phase of their five month program.

Former Youth Challenge Cadet Graduates Aaniiih Nakota College with Honors.

May 24, 2017

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Anthony Main of Hays, Montana and a member of the Assiniboine Tribe, has graduated with honors from Aaniiih Nakota College with an Associates' Degree in the Carpentry Program. He sustained an average GPA greater than 3.5 and therefore, graduated with honors during the 31st Commencement Ceremony held on May 11th at the Red Whip Gymnasium on Ft. Belknap.

Courtesy Photo