Michigan Youth Challenge Academy offers high schoolers other options

MARQUETTE — For many students, the traditional high school setting isn’t the right fit.

Fortunately, for those students who are struggling, there are other options. The Michigan Youth Challenge Academy is one. They had an recruiting and awareness event today. Its a five and a half month long quasi–military residential program for high school students between sixteen and eighteen who aren’t doing well in school.

“This works better because it isn’t a traditional high school setting. Our classrooms are small by comparison, they’re very quiet, very, very structured, very disciplined. And so when you have a quiet classroom without cell phones, without friends from home and you don’t get to go home at the end of the day that’s really what makes us quite successful especially when compared with other places that don’t require or offer a five and a half month residential setting,” said Jimmie Jones, who recruits students for the program.

Through the program, students can earn 7 high school credits, 19 college credits, a vocational–tech certificate and even a GED. One of the main goals is to make sure that at–risk kids are able to gain skills that will provide them with a better future.

“All of these things that we do, all the things that we work on, the life skills, attitude, discipline, self–discipline, all of that does equate to better performance in the workforce. Again, so many of our kids get hired on the spot before interviews even happen. They walk in in their uniform, because placement, getting a job, is part of what we do at the academy, they walk in and meet an employer and the employer is like, ‘you just called me sir and shook my [hand], okay you’re hired.’ It does all equate to a better paycheck and just an overall better lifestyle,” added Jones.

Beware, this program is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard, intense work and Jones says the academy only accepts those who are serious about improving themselves.

If you’re interested in learning more follow this link.