Education

More News | |

Georgia First Lady speaks at Fort Gordon's National Youth Guard Challenge Academy graduation

  • Follow Education

With newfound self-confidence and academic discipline, the 219 at-risk youth who graduated from Fort Gordon’s National Guard Youth Challenge Academy on Saturday can step into a successful future, said Georgia first lady Sandra Deal.

Back | Next
Graduates listen to Sandra Deal, wife of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, at their graduation ceremony.  Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Graduates listen to Sandra Deal, wife of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, at their graduation ceremony.

“You are a miracle,” Deal said. “There were people in this building, people in your life that stopped that fall. They intervened, and by doing so, they brought about that miracle.”

Deal delivered the keynote address at their graduation ceremony held at James Brown Arena. Gov. Nathan Deal helped his wife and other dignitaries distribute diplomas.

“For all of us, a good self-image takes us a long way. So does our confidence and knowing that you do have the power to overcome obstacles,” Deal said prior to her address.

Deal visited Youth Challenge Academy last April, touring the facilities and speaking with young cadets.

“I observed how the time that these young people were spending here was changing lives. They had not been here very long but I could tell as they stood and presented and talked about the things they were learning, it was making a difference,” she said.

Deal called the program a “last-ditched effort” for many young people with troubled backgrounds. The cadets undergo 22 weeks of intensive physical training, life-skill practices, academic studies and community service. Students who received a high school diploma or GED will receive continued assistance from the program as they look for jobs, college placements or military options, Deal said.

The cadets have learned skills for landing a job.

“For (Deal) to see the cadets when they were relatively new to the program and then to come out and see how polished and self-disciplined they are now, is a really big treat,” said Janet Zimmerman, Youth Challenge Academy director.

Deal challenged the graduates to begin their job search Monday, not wasting any time moving into their future. With her concluding remarks, the first platoon stood at attention and marched forward to receive their diplomas.

Comments (4)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
TheArmyWife
0
Points
TheArmyWife 08/27/11 - 04:59 pm
0
0

Congratulations to the newest

Congratulations to the newest Youth Challenge graduates! Seeing the cadets around post is a pleasure, because you know you are seeing youth who are truly pushing themselves to excel.

happychimer
13248
Points
happychimer 08/27/11 - 06:03 pm
0
0

Good for them!

Good for them!

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/28/11 - 09:11 am
0
0

Hope, for the sake of these

Hope, for the sake of these graduates, the YCA has a strong job placement component.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Pedestrian killed on Mike Padgett Highway

A pedestrian was struck and killed Thursday night on Mike Padgett Highway. The victim is the fifth pedestrian to be hit - and third to die - on Richmond County roads since April 10.
Loading...