Grads of Boot Camp Come Home With High Hopes

By: Jennifer Rogers
By: Jennifer Rogers

Several weeks ago we told you about a group of troubled Nevada teens sent to a military style school in Arizona called Project Challenge.

This past weekend the kids graduated and returned home. Today I spoke with one of the recent graduates.

It's taken five months and many challenges to reach graduation.

A total of 94 troubled teens walked the stage last weekend in Arizona, and eight of those students are from Nevada.

We sat down with two of the local teens Amber Soto and Chris White.

"It was tough for five months. A lot of emotional strain on the family. I've never been away from my family. This is my first real big adventure," Amber says.

An adventure, not ending anytime soon. Amber is planning on pursuing a career in the military. "I graduated with nine college credits. I think I've accomplished a lot for a 17-year-old," she says.

And fellow classmate Chris White says he's ready to take on the world.
"Whatever comes my way."

His parents say they are just happy to have him home.

"His whole attitude is so much more of an influence to us all," says his father Russell White. "He had a sadness when he left. He didn't have a goal."

But now he does . . . he wants to become an advanced computer tech.

This is another reform story from Project Challenge that Sgt. Mjr. Callanan says he's proud of. "Since 1993, 10 percent of the graduating classes are from Nevada. That number basically equals 10 students a class for every 100 students."

It's a Nevada National Guard sponsored program, he says will continue to battle the high number of high school drop outs in our silver state.

The next Project Challenge class will start on January 11th.

If you'd like more information on Project Challenge or how you can help the sponsor the program contact Sgt. Mjr Callanan at 885-8201 or 887-7357

If you want to donate money so the kids can go to college there is an account set up at Bank of America for the Friends of Project Challenge AC#004961607014.


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