Youth Challenge cadets run toward brighter future

Gov. Brown visits National Guard program in Bend

Cadets run toward a brighter future

BEND, Ore. - The Oregon Youth Challenge Program is the only accredited statewide alternative high school in Oregon, and they welcomed a special visitor Thursday: Gov. Kate Brown, who took a tour of the facility east of Bend.

At the end of her visit, she asked the cadets what they want to do when they finish the program, which is aimed at getting trouble youth back on track.

The answers ranged from the armed forces to the entertainment industry -- and all of them included continuing their education.

"I really want to join the Marine Corps," said Bend resident Morgan. "After that, I want to go to college."

"I think I want to become a filmmaker," said another Bendite, Tapia. "That's something I'm looking forward to after graduating high school and going to college."

The program has a strong track record of making those dreams a reality. It's won several awards for excellence, and Governor Brown also holds a high opinion of the program.

"It's opening the doors of opportunity for many Oregon students," she said. "I'm just so proud of the work happening here and so proud of these great students."

Take it from Morgan. He's attended the school since January -- and feels like a different person now.

"When you realize for the first time that you're going down the wrong path and it's going to get you nowhere, this program can really do that," he said. "It just turns you around completely."

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