Class 53 Week 8

This Week at Challenge, Week 8

As week 8 comes to a close, the main topic on everyone’s tongue was first break.  From the stories the cadets are circulating, it sounds like everyone had a great time.  Now that they are back on site, the cadets are falling into their required routines; marching with new purpose in their steps.  As they concentrate on the heart of the program, the cadets have a lot to look forward to as we get closer to graduation.

The cadets were a little sluggish as classes began last week, but a little motivation from the cadre added some much needed energy.  In science, the cadets designed and began building towers out of straws and Duct tape.  This interactive lab gives the cadets a chance to apply the scientific principles they have been learning for the past few weeks. In Social Studies the cadets watched a documentary on 9/11 while in Health, the cadets watched a video about the birth process.

Student Government elections were held just before break. Over 30 cadets vied for the 7 seats available.  After giving speeches to their platoons, the candidates spent time answering questions. Then the cadets voted for their representative with two seats from first and second platoons, and third platoon getting three seats. In the end, a very strong group was elected and they have already started serving their terms. Class 52 Student Government is:  Cadets Adams and Buenrostro from first platoon; Cadets Antonio and Friend from second platoon; Cadets Barrera, Maghiari, and Sprengle from third platoon.  The cadets have begun planning upcoming activities like the Halfway Party and the Blood Drive and motivated the class to bring in a huge amount of food for the Governor’s food drive.

On Thursday, March 9, the Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, visited the Oregon Youth Challenge while touring various sites around Central Oregon. Governor Brown spent a lot of time talking to the cadets and learning about not only the program, but the awesome cadet population. Cadets Nolan and Friend, both from second platoon co-wrote this piece giving their insights on meeting and talking to the Governor.

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Our Meeting with the Governor

By Cadet Friend and Cadet Nolan

Yesterday, Oregon’s governor and former Secretary of State Kate Brown visited OYCP (The Oregon Youth Challenge Program). OYCP is a military environment alternative high school partially funded by the National Guard. Governor Brown got a personal tour through OYCP’s facility led by four VIP Cadets; Johnson from 1st, Friend from 2nd, and Aguilar and Pacheco from 3rd. The tour started from the entrance and ended in the conference room. While on the tour Governor Brown had a variety of questions about how the program operated and had open dialog with the cadets about what they have learned and their plans for the future. When Governor Brown arrived to the drill floor she saw all of the food donated by the Cadets and their families. She was super excited to see all of the food and said that it was amazing because the food we had donated would be a huge help to families in poverty. She then requested that all of the cadets report to classroom 2 so she could speak to them and ask them questions. She introduced herself to the company and asked a handful of cadets three questions: “How old are you?”, “What have you learned from the program?” and “What would you like to do after completing the program?” After speaking with the cadets, Governor Brown said that she would like to expand the program to reduce Oregon’s dropout rates. She believes in the program and what it teachers young adults, and also she likes the fact that it lets the Cadets reach their full potential when going back into the real world. It was a privilege to have Governor Brown visit OYCP and to hear all of her advice.

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This can be a difficult time for cadets as they readjust to life at Challenge.  Some are homesick over leaving their family after break.  Your support at this time is more important than ever as cadets struggle to get through the next few weeks.  With 1/3 of the program behind them, the cadets are closer than ever to meeting their goals and need your help to get there.  Please send letters or e-mails showing your son or daughter how proud you are of their accomplishments.  Many future events are scheduled including the Blood Drive, Color Guard performances, the Career Fair, and the Halfway Party and these are all just in the next month.