Jun 04,2007 00:00
Mrs. Mary Oberst, the First Lady of the State of Oregon and wife of Oregon Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski, visited with cadets at the Oregon Youth Challenge Program in Bend, Oregon, June 1.
The group toured the facility and learned first-hand how the program helps turn at-risk youth into responsible citizens. Four cadets served as tour guides, leading the visitors through the library, living quarters, the kitchen, and other common areas.
Following the facility tour, the group met with other cadets at Pilot Butte Park where OYCP members had been conducting a community service project that morning.
"The transformation of these kids is quite astonishing," Oberst said. "Kids who are not interested in school or had some social interaction problems are transformed into well-spoken kids who are engaged in their schoolwork. It's really quite miraculous."
The Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program is an accredited alternative residential school geared toward at-risk high school students. Eligible individuals are accepted from all 36 counties in Oregon. Staff members utilize a "hands off", tough love, caring, disciplined approach to instill values, train, and instruct cadets, who are eligible to earn a high school diploma, GED or credit recovery of 8 certified credits if they complete the required class work. Follow up work includes a mandatory 12 month mentorship phase once the student returns to their respective communities. For more information on the program, visit www.oycp.com.