News & Events

MONTANA YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY GRADUATES THREE FROM COLUMBIA FALLS

July 18, 2018 | Hungry Horse News

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The commencement ceremony for the 38th class of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy was last month at the campus of Montana-Western in Dillon. Among the 113 graduating cadets were Columbia Falls residents Jordyn Buck, Skyler Warner and Hunter Collins.

Montana Youth Challenge Academy Hosts 38th Commencement Ceremony

Local Montana Youth Challenge graduates

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The Commencement Ceremony for Class 38, Montana Youth Challenge Academy, was held on Saturday, June 16, on the campus of the University of Montana-Western in Dillon. One thirteen Cadets, the largest class to date, graduated during the ceremony. Local Montana Youth Challenge graduates include Marc Wells of Heart Butte and Jeremiah Carmelo, Amren Mad Plume, Cordell Schaak and Jaymielynn Little Dog, all of Browning.

 

Achievers

In The Schools…

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A commencement ceremony for Class 38 of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy took place June 16 on the campus of University of Montana-Western in Dillon.

KALISPELL TEEN FINDS NEW SKILLS AT YOUTH ACADEMY

December 26, 2017 | Daily Inter Lake

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A Kalispell teen who hopes to one day start her own business is poised for success after honing her communication skills and getting some much-needed encouragement at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy. Ashlyn Graham was among 74 cadets who graduated Dec. 16 from the academy based at the University of Montana-Western in Dillon.

Montana Youth Challenge Academy Cadet Ashlyn Graham of Kalispell graduated from the academy Dec. 16. (Courtesy photo)

Last option becomes a new beginning

By Lailani Upham, Char-Koosta News

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Emonie Couture graduates from Montana Youth Challenge Academy

Emonie Couture had made some poor decisions and needed a place to go where she could learn and change her bad habits.  The 18-year old from Ronan found her place in the military structured Montana Youth Challenge Academy.  "I have been to treatment in the past and I wasn’t planning on going back, so MYCA was my last option," said Couture.

MYCA graduate Emonie Couture listen to guest speaker Major General Matthew Quinn. (Lailani Upham photo)

 

Gifted under-achiever and Hamilton Vice-Principal bond through Youth Challenge Academy

MICHELLE MCCONNAHA michelle.mcconnaha@ravallirepublic.com, January 21, 2018

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While many students at Montana Youth Challenge Academy are at-risk for not graduating high school due to their behavior, Jeremy Cheetham was a gifted underachiever who chose isolation over friendships and skipping school rather than completing assignments.

Montana Youth Challenge Academy graduate Jeremy Cheetham is congratulated by Hamilton High School Vice-Principal Joel Stuber, who volunteered to serve as his mentor for the next year.

Katelen White joins ranks of Youth Challenge graduates

By JOHN MCGILL Glacier Reporter Editor, Jan 10, 2018

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"It’s about removing the distracters, getting enough sleep, good food and good tutoring," Carroll said. "Katelen White is a phenomenal young lady who did very well," he continued. "She was made squad leader in her platoon, and she’s got a great attitude. She’s willing to help others, and during Vocational Week, she teamed up with nine cadets at the local nursing home – she was one of 10 selected for the course.

A recent graduate of the Montana Youth Challenge, Katelen White is being mentored by her grandfather, Ron White, in the post-residential phase of the program.

Photo by John McGillTop of Form

Graduate says it changed her life

Locals graduate youth academy, January 4, 2018, Ryan Welch/Havre Daily News

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Alexus Flansburg, who graduated from Montana Youth Challenge Academy in December, poses for a photograph in Havre Wednesday. She is looking at the possibility of following in her mother's footsteps and becoming a nurse herself.

Montana Youth Challenge Academy Hosts 37th Commencement Ceremony

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The Commencement Ceremony for Class 37, Montana Youth Challenge Academy, was held on Saturday, December 16, 2017 on the campus of the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, Montana. Seventy four Cadets graduated during the formal ceremony. Speakers included Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and University of Montana President, Dr. Sheila Stearns. Other distinguished guests included State Senator Jeff Welborn, SD 36, Major General Matthew Quinn, The Adjutant General, Montana National Guard, Brigadier General Bryan Fox, Commander, Montana Air National Guard, Brigadier General (Ret) Hal Stearns, Montana Army National Guard, Dr. Beth Weatherby, Chancellor, University of Montana Western, Susan Briggs, Vice Chancellor, University of Montana Western and Erica Swanson, State Coordinator, Jobs for Montana Graduates.

The Montana Youth Challenge Academy (MYCA) is a two-phase, academic-based program located in Dillon, Montana on the campus of the University of Montana-Western. The Academy's focus is to assist youth, ages 16-18, by helping them to develop the academic and life skills necessary to be successful. During the twenty-two week residential phase, Academy participants focus on eight Core Components which include Physical Fitness, Academic Excellence, Leadership-Followership, Responsible Citizenship, Service to Community, Life-Coping Skills, Job Skills and Health & Hygiene. Following graduation form the Residential Phase, Students enter a 12-month Post Residential Phase in which they maintain on-going contact with a volunteer Mentor in their community who provides additional guidance & support.

MYCA conducts two sessions each year and the next session starts on January 16, 2018. For more information, please contact MYCA at 1-877-367-6927 or visit their website at http://www.youthchallenge.mt.gov

Student Honors

December 24, 2017

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The Commencement Ceremony for Class 37, Montana Youth Challenge Academy, was held on Saturday, Dec. 16 on the campus of University of Montana-Western in Dillon.

The academy’s focus is to assist youth by helping them to develop the academic and life skills necessary to be successful. The students focus on eight Core Components, which include Physical Fitness, Academic Excellence, Leadership-Followership, Responsible Citizenship, Service to Community, Life-Coping Skills, Job Skills and Health and Hygiene.

 

 

Achievers

Dec 25, 2017

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In The Schools:

A commencement ceremony for Class 37 of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy took place on Dec. 16, 2017, on the campus of University of Montana-Western in Dillon. Seventy-four cadets graduated during the ceremony, including the following area students: Tyler Anderson, Jeremy Bever, Ashaya Big Leggins, Porter Bjerken, Teigan Brady, Therese Heger, Jerimiah Kolbeck, Allison Mattson, Israel Medicine Crow, Carroll Megears, Ceazar Nevarez, Ethan Oak, Jaeger Peters, Merci Powers, Kylie Romero, Skyler Rookhuizen, Elise Vopel, Tristan Walter, Nicholas Whitaker and Jacob Young, all of Billings; Kennedy Aigner, of Shepherd; and Keegan Foreman, of Pompeys Pillar.

MYCA is a two-phase, academic-based program located in Dillon, focused on assisting youth ages 16-18 by helping them develop the academic and physical skills and abilities necessary to be successful. MYCA conducts two sessions each year. The next session starts on Jan. 16, 2018. For more information, call 1-877-367-6927 or go to youthchallenge.mt.gov.

Four area students graduate from Youth Challenge Academy at UMW in Dillon.

Dec 20, 2017

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DILLON — The commencement ceremony for Class 37, Montana Youth Challenge Academy, was held Saturday, Dec. 16, on the campus of the University of Montana Western in Dillon.

Seventy-four cadets graduated during the formal ceremony. Area graduates included Nicholas Thompson, Dillon; Talon Hoagland, Butte; Jacob Adamson, Twin Bridges; and Tyler Smith, Anaconda. Speakers included Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and University of Montana President, Sheila Stearns.

Great Falls natives graduate from Youth Challenge Academy

Tribune Staff

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Seventy-four cadets graduated during the formal ceremony, 10 of which came from Great Falls. Speakers at the ceremony included Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and UM President Dr. Sheila Stearns. Other guests included State Senator Jeff Welborn, SD 36; Major General Matthew Quinn, Adjutant General of Montana National Guard; Dr. Beth Weatherby, chancellor of UM-Western; Brigadier General (Ret) Hal Stearns of Montana Army National Guard; Brigadier General Bryan Fox, commander of Montana Air National Guard; and several others. 

 

(Photo: Courtesy photo)

Earning It

By Michelle Lovato, Lake County Leader

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Coral Sherman was on a self-induced track to nowhere when she dropped out of high school at age 16, but the St. Ignatius teenager chose to turn her life around, seek the help she needed and is now in position to excel as an adult. Sherman, now 18 of Polson, is a glowing example of how a little help from an outside program and a whole lot of personal desire to excel can blend together and create a life-altering journey.

Coral Sherman leans back for the first time over the edge of a 40-foot wall while suspended from a rappel line during one of Montana Youth Academy’s training and character-building exercises. A Rappel Master watched Sherman and her fellow cadets during their training. (Montana Youth Challenge, photo)

Belgrade Youth Learns Leadership Skills at Montana Youth Challenge Academy

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Cadet Jaden Pruitt of Belgrade was looking for a way to better himself and to set himself back on the right track. After looking at many options, he decided on the Montana Youth Challenge Academy! During his 22 weeks at Youth Challenge, Cadet Pruitt excelled in the Cadet Leadership position of Platoon Sergeant as well as the elected JMG student government position of Platoon Representative.

Great Falls Youth Excels at Montana Youth Challenge Academy

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Cadet Chas Matye of Great Falls was looking for a way to get his life back on track so he could focus on finishing high school. That desire led him to the Montana Youth Challenge Academy. During his 22 weeks at Youth Challenge, Matye earned the National Physical Fitness Award (three times) and was selected to serve in the Cadet Leadership position of Squad Leader.

Havre youth rises to the challenge.

Havre Daily News/Floyd Brandt, March 30, 2017

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Sixteen-year-old Brallam Ramirez of Havre said the Montana Youth Challenge Academy transformed him from a failing high school student to a certified nursing assistant on the verge of college and a possible military career.

Youth Challenge Academy graduate Brallam Ramirez of Havre poses for a photograph Wednesday with his mentor, Havre City Judge Virginia Seigel.

Cadets participate in service project.

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Cadets from the Montana Youth Challenge Academy participated in a Service to Community project at the Helena Industries Thrift Store on Friday, Nov. 4. MYCA Cadets participate in numerous service projects statewide that teaches them to give back to their communities as well as increase public awareness of the Youth Challenge mission. During this service project, the cadets assisted thrift store staff by accepting and sorting donated goods, organizing and pricing items and cleaning the store.

Youth Challenge Academy teens help food bank get Thanksgiving dinner to thousands.

By JORDON NIEDERMEIER jniedermeier@billingsgazette.com

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A motivated group of young people from Montana Youth Challenge Academy chipped in Monday to help get groceries home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Billings Food Bank began distributing supplies for more than 2,000 Thanksgiving dinners Monday. The demand ahead of the holiday means more food and more volunteer help is needed. While food drives and initiatives from Billings businesses and organizations provided all the fixings for citywide feasts, 10 cadets volunteered at the Billings Food Bank for four hours during their only trip home.

Montana Youth Challenge Cadet Joseph Hall helps Bob Smith load a food box onto his walker for the trip home on Monday. Challenge Cadets gathered at the Billings Food Bank to help with the holiday food baskets on November 21, 20016.

LARRY MAYER Gazette Staff

Dillon Academy helps shape up Kalispell teen.

By HILARY MATHESON/Daily Inter LakeDaily Inter Lake |

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Caitlyn Hansen of Kalispell was intent to shape up when she enrolled in the Montana Youth Challenge Academy. "It was my choice because I needed self-discipline and self-respect," Hansen said The 17-year-old recently graduated with plans to study culinary arts at Flathead Valley Community College and dreams of owning a restaurant.

 

Photo by Michelle Nelon

A life-changing six months: Youth Challenge Academy helps Helena teen gain new confidence and maturity.

By Marga Lincoln - Independent Record, Thom Bridge, Independent Record

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Autumn Shortman was 16 when she had her daughter Alyssa. She knew she didn’t want that kind of life for her daughter. So when Alyssa failed every subject in high school last year, refusing to do her school work and just wanting to hang out with friends, Autumn knew something dramatic needed to happen. And it did. Alyssa signed up for Montana Youth Challenge Academy -- after a lot of motherly persuasion.

Montana Youth Challenge Cadet Alyssa Shortman

Program helps Victor teen get back on track

MICHELLE MCCONNAHA – Ravalli Republic

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Cadet Edward Moore graduated from the Montana Youth Challenge Academy, June 20, with a solid direction for his life. "It was the best thing I could have done," Moore said.

Cadets give back to home communities.

Sarah Dettmer, sdettmer@greatfallstribune.com

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Nelly Islas didn’t grow up in a bad home, but bad choices pushed her to a point where she wasn’t sure how bright her future could be. She imagines that if she hadn’t received a helpful push from her mother, she would have dropped out of high school.

Instead, Islas enrolled in the Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon. Youth Challenge is a free program for struggling 16- to 18-year-olds. "I needed to change for myself," Islas said. "I’ve learned responsibility and accountability. I’m planning to go back to high school and then into the job corps and then I’ll go wherever life leads me."

Photo: TRIBUNE PHOTO/JULIA MOSS)

Montana Youth Challenge Academy

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About 55 staff members work at the 100-bed Montana Youth Challenge Academy, which serves youth ages 16-18. It receives 75 percent of its funding through the federal government and 25 percent from the state, making it virtually cost-free for participants and their families.

MYCA offers students educational opportunities that promote long-term success, including HiSET (GED) testing and a high school credit recovery program. MYCA is one of 35 youth challenge programs in 27 states. To date, the Montana academy has graduated 2,379 cadets who have together performed 129,000 hour of work to support communities throughout the state.

STEVENSVILLE TEEN TALKS ABOUT EXPERIENCE AT MONTANA CHALLENGE PROGRAM IN DILLON.

BY MICHELLE MCCONNAHA RAVALLI REPUBLIC

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STEVENSVILLE RESIDENT ALYSSA GEE (LEFT) PARTICIPATED IN THE MUD RUN AT MONTANA TECH IN BUTTE AS PART OF THE MONTANA YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY THAT SHE GRADUATED FROM DEC. 17. WHILE AT THE ACADEMY, SHE EARNED HER HI-SET, CNA CERTIFICATION, COLLEGE CREDITS, SELF-CONFIDENCE AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS.

PHOTO CREDIT: MYCA

Montana Youth Challenge Academy graduate ready for future.

By Katie Fairbanks - Chronicle Staff Writer

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Cassie Holt, 17, of Belgrade, recently graduated from the Montana Youth Challenge program in Dillon. Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/Chronicle.

At 15 years old, Cassie Holt hated the idea of attending Montana’s highly structured youth academy. "I did not like what I heard at all," she said. Two years later, the 17-year-old’s attitude has completely changed.

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

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