Cudray J. Wimberly of Springfield was among 214 cadets graduating from the Georgia National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy at Fort Gordon on Saturday at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta.
Wimberly completed the 22-week, in-residence program where cadets learn self-discipline, leadership, and responsibility together with completing necessary academic requirements to earn a GED, or high school diploma.
Youth Challenge operates two campuses in Georgia. The original campus is located at Fort Stewart and opened in 1993. The second campus opened at Fort Gordon, near Augusta, in 2000.
Together both campuses have graduated more than 9,950 formerly ‘at risk’ students. Each year more than 1,200 students apply for one of the four programs running concurrently at both Georgia campuses.
Applicants to Youth Challenge must be from 16-18 years old, a high school dropout or expelled, drug free, have no felony convictions, and have a strong desire to change the course of their lives.
Brig. Gen. Robert L. Shannon, vice commander and chief of staff of the Georgia Air National Guard, was the commencement speaker.