Louisiana National Guard Educates Cadets Through Youth Challenge Career Fair

Every year, the Louisiana National Guard hosts a career fair for the Youth Challenge Program.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how YCP makes a positive impact on students.


The Youth Challenge Program is not a boot camp for bad kids, it actually prepares cadets for the real world.

Cadet Mackenzie Garraway says, “I think mainly it has opened my eyes, opened so many doors for me and opportunities, it has shown me things I didn’t know I was capable of.”


The career fair exposes cadets to different jobs after graduation.

Garraway says, “I’m thinking about anesthesiologist, but the EMT paramedics has opportunities for me, like, if I was to become a doctor, it would benefit me to go through that for my doctor training.”


Cadets can earn their GED or go back to high school through YCP.

YCP Counselor Maryann Stewart says, “Graduation is going to be in a couple of weeks. As we approach that, our career fair gives them the opportunity to talk to some local career colleges, our ambulance services, fire department, Roy O’ Martin, awesome opportunities for them to start conversations about jobs after YCP.”


Mika Browning says he is ready to train and earn industry certifications.

“I would love to go to Lincoln Tech and get my auto diesel certification and go to the LA National Guard and fly jets.”


Mackenzie Garraway says YCP has prepared her for the workplace.

“And it just makes me proud to be, to participate in something like this, it makes me proud to be a part of something.”


News Reporter Keisha Swafford says, “The Youth Challenge program is teaching kids how to be leaders. Their goal is for every cadet to continue education or become employed after graduation.”


Both cadets are qualified to graduate in 2 weeks.

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