Children First: 'courage to change' at Wyoming Guard academy - KOTA Territory News

Children First: 'courage to change' at Wyoming Guard academy

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Cowboy ChalleNGe cadets line up to man a support rope for another cadet on a rope swing.  (photo by Jack Siebold) Cowboy ChalleNGe cadets line up to man a support rope for another cadet on a rope swing. (photo by Jack Siebold)
A Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe cadet soars on the rope course at Camp Guernsey.  (photo by Jack Siebold) A Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe cadet soars on the rope course at Camp Guernsey. (photo by Jack Siebold)

Teens don't always know they are going down the wrong path and sadly, sometimes parents aren't enough help.  Putting children first, we explore a National Guard youth academy that gives teens the confidence they need to succeed.

There may be different reasons for teens to be at the Wyoming Army National Guard's Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy but they all have the same goal ... get their lives back on track.  Teens take themselves out of what at best is a destructive environment; and with guidance from guard sergeants, finish high school and learn to make better life choices. 

"We've come a long way. A lot of us had a lot of attitude.  We turned our lives around a lot.  We give respect, we get respect.  Compared to the first two weeks, it's phenomenal.  It's crazy how far we've come," Cadet Kameron Walker, Cody, Woy., said.

For the academy sergeants, a teen's success is their success.  "It makes me proud to see them go on and do better things," Sgt. Shannon Peterson said.  "I've already a couple of kids come back and they're so excited to share that they've gotten into college; they've gotten a great job.  It makes me feel like we're doing our job, doing our part in helping these kids get to where they need to be."

We have a longer, in depth story with video on the Cowboy ChalleNGe at our community news website MyTown.

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