This Week at Challenge, Week 17
Week 17 continued the long winding road towards graduation. Around the facility, everyone is wrapping up their work as the cadets prepare to walk across the stage. The cadets continue gaining muscle and confidence while they complete assignments successfully. With only two weeks until break, and five weeks until graduation, the cadets are increasingly excited that the end is in sight and soon they will have completed the Challenge.
The cadets are beginning the final push in school, finishing up their math and English workbooks. Many of the cadets are working on earning extra credits and trying to earn the elusive gold cord. Cadets also began preparing their resume and a cover letter so that they can be ready to apply for a job when they get home. Speakers and singers for graduation will be chosen next week, and the names published at graduation.
The cadets take a lot of tests while they are at OYCP, and all of the tests have long answer sheets. The TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) is used to monitor the progress of the cadets. It is given during week 2 and again in week 18. The test shows how much the cadets have improved in reading, English and math. Some of our cadets will be taking the NCRC Test. The National Career Readiness Certificate examination assesses an individual’s skill level in three areas deemed critical for employability: Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information. For some students, a high score on this test may count as meeting state requirements for graduation. Cadets have also taken the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), a basic skills test, and some will take the GED. This is all on top of the 10 math and 10 English tests that we require. Sometimes it is amazing that the cadets have time to do anything else.
One of the big parts of the program is Service to Community (S2C) where the cadets go off-site weekly to do jobs in the community. Not only does this give the cadets a break from their regular duties, but it gives them a chance to earn valuable job experience while also discovering how much a few volunteer hours can help the community thrive.
Some of the cadets still need to complete their placement requirements during their break; please ensure that they have the time to visit schools or businesses to make sure that they get this requirement fulfilled. The cadets will all be coming home with a packet full of paperwork including homework, progress report cards, and other important documents. Please go through this with your cadet to make sure that all important work is both looked at and completed.
With only five weeks to go, and two weeks until second break, parental support is needed more than ever. Many cadets are getting anxious as they can sense their end goal is near. Your children need your help in finishing the program and taking that first step towards a better and brighter future. Please continue to write to them and show your cadet not only how proud you are of them, but also how succeeding in the present can only lead to better things in their future.