News & Events

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.


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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

Cadets give back to home communities.

Sarah Dettmer,

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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."