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Article of Interest - Summer Programs

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Bridges4Kids LogoPrograms for Youth Sponsored by the Michigan National Guard

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Michigan's youth are its future. To this end, the Michigan National Guard is involved in a wide variety of youth-oriented programs. In addition to the officially sponsored programs, Michigan National Guard members participate in countless community-based programs as mentors and volunteers.


Michigan Freedom Academy


Promoting a sense of patriotism, the desire to lead, and enhancing understanding of civic responsibilities are the objectives of the Michigan Freedom Academy. This one-week camp takes place each summer at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. High school juniors and seniors can become delegates to the Michigan Freedom Academy.


Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy


Offering a second chance for Michigan's at-risk youth, the Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy is a three-phase, 17.5-month program. Graduates of the Academy leave with a G.E.D, college credits, basic life skills, and goals for their future. The two-week Pre-ChalleNGe phase determines if the program is right for a cadet. The 20-week resident phase prepares cadets for their G.E.D. and builds on the program's core objectives. The post-resident phase reinforces the program through a mentoring process.




The hands-on STARBASE program, held at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, introduces at-risk fifth and sixth graders to practical and interesting activities related to science, math, engineering, and technology. The program also teaches goal setting skills to encourage strong self-esteem and positive attitudes.


Youth Leadership Camp


For 9-12 year old dependents of Michigan National Guard members and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs employees, the Youth Leadership Camp provides experiences in teamwork, leadership, and an exposure to the roles the children's relatives play in serving our state and nation.


Young Heroes


Through the Young Heroes non-profit organization, Michigan National Guard volunteers present medals for heroism to youngsters who demonstrate exceptional courage during treatment for life-threatening illnesses or injuries.


Drug Demand Reduction Program


While many programs work to reduce the supply of drugs, the Michigan National Guard Drug Demand Reduction Program works to reduce the demand--primarily among the youth. The program assists in community events with schools, churches, government agencies, and service clubs, and compliments existing programs such as DARE and PRIDE.


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