Nofs announces additional funding for Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy

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LANSING, Mich.—A doubling of the funding for the Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy (MYCA) is one step closer to becoming a reality Wednesday following actions taken by the Michigan Senate.

The Senate gave final approval to the 2012-13 budget for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which includes an additional $735,000 for the program sought by Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek. Nofs requested the increased funding last month during testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“The MYCA is an award-winning program that is showing results in helping at-risk youths gain critical life skills, complete their education and get their lives back on track,” said Nofs. “This measure restores full funding to the program, which was cut in half just two short years ago.”

Major General Gregory J. Vadnais, adjutant general for the state of Michigan, lauded today’s action.

“I certainly appreciate Senator Nofs’ support of the department and our men and women in uniform, including our veterans,” Vadnais said. “I especially want to thank him for his work and commitment to increasing funding for the MYCA program and also helping to secure additional private funding to improve our facilities for these cadets.”

The Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy is a 17.5 month, three phase program run by the Michigan National Guard. Cadets start with a two-week Pre-ChalleNGe phase at Fort Custer in Augusta, Michigan. Then, for 20 weeks they live, work, and study on-site with other 16- to 18-year-old cadets.

In that 20 weeks, they will receive 400 hours of instruction to prepare them for the G.E.D. exam. After completion of the 22-week resident phase, cadets graduate and continue their personal growth with an adult mentor, who will provide each graduate with assistance for the next 12 months in their own community.

The legislation now awaits concurrence by the House.

For more information about the MYCA program and how it can change a child’s future, please visit www.michigan.gov/dmva.