The Louisiana National Guard present the Youth Challenge Program

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Louisiana National Guard will be returning to West Monroe. Their goal is to recruit struggling students into their Youth Challenge program.

Stephen Hurley, director of public relations and recruiting for the National Guard joined with Tyler Smith discussing the Youth Challenge Progam. Source: (KNOE)

Stephen Hurley, director of public relations and recruiting for the National Guard, stopped by the studio Friday morning to discuss some of the benefits to their Youth Challenge Program.

Harley emphasizes that they are not a boot camp, but rather a free and alternative education program. The program helps children ages 16 to 18 who are struggling or are considered "at-risk".

The program provides help to students or kids who are at risk of dropping out of school. They also help students who are out of school, fallen behind or have disciplinary issues.

Hurley says the program has about an 82% successful placement rate. A majority of students who enter the program join the workforce, continue their education or go into the military.

To join the program, stop by the LA Nationa Guard Armory in West Monroe, where the National Guard will conducting live interviews.

If selected, your child will have the opportunity to go to the Gillis W. Long Center near Baton Rouge for 22 weeks of training. Residential care will also be provided during the 22-week training.

Hurley says the program will provide life teachings, live coping skills, education and more. He adds once the students graduate from the program, they’ll continue to offer the students mentorship along with case managers to keep track of their success for another year.

Interviews will be Wednesday, February 19, at 10 a.m. at the Amory on 105 Industrial Street.

The Youth Challenge program will start classes on April 19 at the Gillis W. Long Center.

For more information on their events and scheduling check out their website or call 1-800-CAMP-KID.