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Two Effingham teens to graduate from YCA
Duo had taken part in National Guard-sponsored program at Fort Stewart
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Two Effingham County teens are among more than 150 teens set to graduate from the National Guard sponsored Youth Challenge Academy at graduation ceremonies on June 21 at 3 p.m. at the Macon City Auditorium.

Dustin Lee Ruarks of Meldrim and Justin Creed VanArsdale of Bloomingdale are members of class 2008-02 of the Fort Stewart-based YCA.

Georgia’s Youth Challenge is a 22-week voluntary residential youth program for teens aged 16-18 who have dropped out of school. The military-styled program provides teens with the opportunity to complete basic academic courses leading to a high school diploma or GED.

The voluntary program also provides teens valuable life skills training emphasizing academic, physical fitness and personal discipline.

The Georgia National Guard operates two Youth Challenge Academy campuses in Georgia — the original campus at Fort Stewart and a second campus at Fort Gordon near Augusta that opened in 2000.  

To date more than 7,700 formerly “at risk” teens have graduated from the two Youth Challenge Academy campuses in Georgia.