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The Oregon National Guard has been operating its' Youth Challenge Program since the 1990's, and the success of the program has garnered notice around the nation. Former County Commissioner Dennis Luke was involved with the program in its early stages. He explains the 22-week program. "Boot camp doesn't quite explain it.  But there's a lot of discipline, early rising, and there's an educational component.  That's through the Bend La Pine School District. The kids get credit. Most of them either get enough credit to graduate and get a diploma, or get their GED, if they're old enough. And a lot of them get enough credits to go back and actually get back with their class. So, it's a very successful program. The amount of kids that are successful is amazing, and it changes their lives." Luke says they will have a barbecue Wednesday night at the Youth Challenge Facility on Dodds Road. There will be about 16 cadets available to talk with you about the program and relate how it has changed their lives. It's free, but there is limited seating.  Contact Dennis Luke if you want to attend. 541-480-7616.

 

 

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