BILLINGS YOUTH FINDS SUCCESS AT MONTANA YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY
Seventy four Cadets graduated during the Commencement Ceremony for Class 37, Montana Youth Challenge Academy, which was held on Saturday, December 16, 2017 on the campus of the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, Montana.
Cadet Jerimiah Kolbeck of Billings applied for enrollment at the Montana Youth Challenge Academy because he "wanted to redirect his life in a positive direction". He made his mark early in the 22 week Residential Phase by receiving the Cadet of the Month Award for the month of October. He further distinguished himself by being selected to serve in the permanent Cadet Leadership position of Platoon Sergeant, a position he applied for at the mid-way point of the Academy. While at Youth Challenge, Cadet Kolbeck earned his HiSET credentials (formerly the GED), one of two academic tracks offered at the Academy. During the Commencement Ceremony, he was awarded the Challenge Leadership Award for his Platoon. Jerimiah stated that he "is in great shape and has gained a great deal of confidence and respect for others" while at the Academy. He plans to work as a lawn-care and maintenance technician temporarily and then join the US Army as an Infantryman when he turns 18. During the next 12 months, Cadet Kolbeck will participate in the Post Residential Phase of the Academy whereby he will be maintaining contact with his volunteer Mentor who will continue to provide additional guidance and support. His Mentor is Alex Berns, who said he decided to become his Mentor because he "saw potential he wasn’t reaching and was excited to see what he was capable of doing." Alex went on to say Cadet Kolbeck is "more focused and has his priorities straight" as a result of completing MYCA.