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Press Release
June 16, 2010
Oregon National Guard youth program gives at-risk youngsters second chance on achieving dreams
 
BEND, Ore.—Students from across Oregon took part in a graduation ceremony from the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds Expo Center, in Bend, Ore., June 17.

One-hundred, twenty-eight students took part in the ceremony, attended by Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon.

The fully-certified, nationally-recognized program provides opportunities for at-risk youth to change their lives. Graduates receive a GED, high school diploma, or credits toward graduation.

Cadet Estela Martinez-Miranda, Student Body President, said she arrived at OYCP nervous, scared, and anxious but committed to change.

"Thanks to the program, I have lifelong habits and skills I can take with me," she said.

Martinez-Miranda intends to go to college—a dream she said she would have never accomplished if she had not attended the program.

Daniel Radabaugh, Director of OYCP, credits the program's high success rate to its disciplined and focused approach. Cadets learn basic life skills with an emphasis on service, unselfishness, school attendance, and punctuality.

"We have a belief system that people are salvageable," he said. "[The program] can't change you, it can only provide opportunities for change."

The Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program has graduated 39 classes and remains one of the top Youth Challenge programs in the nation.
 
Contact Info:
Capt. Stephen Bomar, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs: 503-990-9508