Former Youth Challenge graduate inspires cadets at Class 57 graduation
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Nearly 200 cadets graduated in Class 57 of the Mississippi National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy.
Saturday morning, 196 cadets graduated during a ceremony at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Facility.
Youth Challenge is a 22-week, military-style course for at-risk youth and other students.
Cadets can get their GED or learn job skills.
Featured speaker for the event was Mississippi National Guard soldier Larry Nix, a former Youth Challenge cadet who graduated from Class 14 of Youth Challenge in 2001.
Nix is a master sergeant in the 1st Battalion of the 155th Infantry Regiment in McComb.
“What the Youth Challenge Program did for me, it gave me structure, it gave me guidance, it pushed me on a different trajectory,” Nix said. “Obviously, it gave me a very successful career, because I joined while I was in YCP.
“I hope that (the graduating cadets) take the guidance and the structure and realize that there is a success story in every one of them and they just have to find it and let it read itself out.”
Nearly 11,000 cadets have graduated from the Youth Challenge Program since 1994.
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