POSTED: Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 6:34pm
CARVILLE,LA(NBC33) — Families from across Louisiana came out to the Gillis W. Long Center in Carville to show support for a group of teens trying to better their lives.
280 at risk teens took the parade grounds to show off their marching skills. It's all part of the military's Youth Challenge Program's family day. The Youth Challenge Program helps teens ages 16 to 18 who've dropped out of high school. Once they join the program they learn how to stay focused, find discipline, and learn new job skills. some even get their g.e.d.
"We believe it's like putting a puzzle together. It takes us: the staff here, the parents, and the mentors of these young men and women. Show them that we are proud and keep up the good work. The hard work thus far," Captain Jackie Manton, director of the Youth Challenge Program, explained.
Cadets live at the center for 22 weeks. Then they get assigned a consoler for another year while they live away from the center to make sure once they leave the program they stay on the right track.