HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -More than two hundred former high school drop-outs from across Mississippi will be graduating Saturday from the Youth Challenge Program at Camp Shelby.
201 cadets are part of Class 49, which will graduate at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Facility.
Youth Challenge is a 22-week, military-style academy, which stresses discipline, physical fitness and academics.
The program began in 1994.
“It’s helped me change my life around, it’s taught me routine, structure and just overall made me a better person,” said Yari English, a cadet from Ocean Springs.
“At first, I was just playing around, messing around, not caring about my education, when I came here, it made me just learn and get my GED, I passed my GED," said Cavius Bunch, a cadet from Jackson.
More than 9,500 cadets have graduated from Youth Challenge in the last 25 years.
Class 50 is scheduled to begin on Jan. 19, 2019.