Troubled Teens Finding The Right Path

By: Jennifer Rogers
By: Jennifer Rogers

Instead of facing criminal charges or going to juvenile hall, dozens of troubled teenagers are in Stead tonight getting their act together.

The teens traveled from all over the Silver State to attend a nine-week boot camp called Project Walkabout.

It was dark and the moon was still in sky when the five o'clock wake-up call came.

Sixty-seven young teens, both young men and women, had only minutes to get ready before they ran - litteraly - to morning physical training.

There was no time for back talk or misbehaving and those who did faced the consequences.

The yelling stopped only a few minutes while one unhappy student got a hair cut. That break ended sending everyone back to work out.

Morning PT lasts about a hour. Organizers say this is one of the most important aspects of training discipline."

"If they push themselves through the pain they can stand with it," said Senior Drill Instructor Bill Daniel Sr. "Hopefully later in life when they come up against something difficult they'll fight through it."

A fight 15-year-old Angel Rios from Reno says he's ready for... "We've got to get through it...cause none of us are going to quit," he said.

These teens each have very different pasts . . . "habitual truancies and run away," said one drill instructor . . . "drugs and truancies," said another.

But with the program organizers hope they can turn their lives around and have very successful futures.

Project WalkaAbout is a collaborative effort between the Washoe Coounty Sheriff's Office and the Nevada Army National Guard, which supplies the drill instroctors for the nine-week course. The cost for each child to attend the camp is about $200.


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