The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program is scheduled to graduate 201 cadets during a ceremony at The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, at 11 a.m. Saturday. The auditorium will open to the public at 10 a.m.

The Honorable Elbert Lee Guillory, Louisiana State Senator, District 24, and the Honorable Harlie Eugene “Gene” Reynolds, Louisiana State Representative, District 10, will be present to address the class.

This graduating class from Minden, includes 32 cadets who took the ACT, 34% of which scored at or above the national average. 94 cadets met Louisiana State eligibility requirements to take the HiSET (formerly GED) exam, and 84 passed the exam. 62 cadets participated in a Bossier Parish Community College program and earned a total of 753 transferrable college credits before graduating from the 5 month residential phase. Collectively, this graduating class completed more than 10,370 hours of service to community projects.

“YCP graduations are always bittersweet. Watching the cadets grow, from week one to week twenty two is a blessed experience. The journey has been long, and they have earned the privilege to graduate,” CPT. Jason Montgomery, director of YCP at Camp Minden said. “The Youth Challenge Program changes lives, of both cadets and staff. I’m grateful just to have the opportunity to impact the lives of these young adults.”

The mission of the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year old adolescents, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary in order to succeed as productive citizens. This second chance program offers young people an opportunity to improve their lives through participation in an innovative, alternative school.

Currently, 27 states operate 35 Youth Challenge Programs. Louisiana is the only state in the nation to successfully operate 3 Youth Challenge Programs.