Car Wash Can Help Kids Come Clean

By: Jennifer Rogers
By: Jennifer Rogers

If you were driving on Plumb Lane Saturday, you probably noticed
dozens of teenagers waving "car wash" signs.

It wasn't for just any car wash. These teens are taking part in a nine-week boot camp called "Project Walk About" that's sponsored by the Nevada National Guard and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

The teens traveled from all over the Silver State. Some were ordered by the court to attended boot camp others just wanted to get their lives back on the right track.

The car wash is one on the many activities the at-risk youth experience while attending boot camp.

While the teens seem like any other kids . . . they're not.

Each has a different story.

"I was just a devil. I was a bad kid and I always had a bad attitude and my life almost went downhill," said stident Jackie Mulhall.

Jackie says she was making bad decisions in her life and started
doing drugs . . . so she decided with support from her family to sign up for Project Walk About - and now it's changing her life.

"I'm going to communicate with my family better and it will help with my future goals," she said.

Her new attitude is similar to that of fellow boot-camper Mike
Orleck, who said: "I think this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. So I'll definitely be able to make a better person of myself."

Mike was ordered by probation officers to attend the program after
he got in trouble for vandalism and graffiti. But, he says, he the past few weeks have shown him a lot about himself.

"I'm not a quitter. I can really achieve. I feel a lot better as a person," Mike said.

Training Instructors say tough love is the only way teach these
kids discipline and self-esteem. They hope the kids will take everything they learn here and apply it to the rest of their lives.

The group of teens have only three more weeks until they graduate.

The boot campt costs each student $200 to attend, which includes housing and food.


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