HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Forrest-Lamar Republican women got a military briefing Tuesday, but it did not deal with issues on the battlefield.
Instead, it concerned a nationally recognized youth intervention program that is changing lives for the better.
They got a detailed overview of the National Guard's Youth Challenge Program at Camp Shelby.
It is a 22-week, military-style academy that gives former high school drop-outs a second chance at getting an education.
"The Youth Challenge Program reclaimed the lives of these drop-outs and gives them the direction, the values, the life skills and the education to become productive citizens," said Sergeant First Class Rodney McDonald, recruiter, placement and mentor assistant with the Youth Challenge Program. "The Mississippi Challenge Program has twice been listed as the number one Youth Challenge Program nationwide," he said.
More than 200 cadets, ages 16-18, are currently enrolled in Class-44 of Youth Challenge.
They are scheduled to graduate in June.
Since 1994, nearly 8,500 cadets have graduated from the Youth Challenge Academy.