Montana Youth Challenge Academy Hosts 38th Commencement Ceremony
Local Montana Youth Challenge graduates
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 hundred 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.
Speakers included Major General Matthew Quinn, Adjutant General, Montana National Guard; and Dr. Deb Hedeen, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Montana Western. Other distinguished guests included State Representative Tom Welch, HD72; CCM Tim Zumbrun, Senior Enlisted Advisor, Montana National Guard; Susan Briggs, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance, University of Montana Western; Erica Swanson, State Coordinator, Jobs for Montana Graduates; Amanda Casey, Field Representative, Office of Senator Jon Tester; and Gilda Clancy, Field Representative, Office of Senator Steve Daines.
The Montana Youth Challenge Academy (MYCA) is a two-phase, academic-based program located in Dillon 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 22-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 and Hygiene. Following graduation from the Residential Phase, students enter a 12-month Post Residential Phase in which they maintain ongoing contact with a volunteer Mentor in their community who provides additional guidance and support.