Skip to main content

Michigan Youth Challenge Academy Celebrates 25th Anniversary

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Youth Challenge Academy (MYCA) will hold their 25th Anniversary Celebration at 10 a.m. on June 15, 2024, at Marshall High School at 701 N. Marshall Ave., Marshall, MI 49068. Immediately following the celebration will be the academy’s graduation ceremony for 118 cadets of class #50. Doors will open at 9 a.m. and the ceremony is open to the public.

“Including this graduating class, 4,988 Michigan youth have graduated from the MYCA, putting themselves on the right path for success,” said Michael Gillum, director of the MYCA. “We are really looking forward to celebrating the last 25 years with our past, present and future cadets, their families and friends, our staff and community partners who have been so instrumental in the program’s success.”

The official party will include U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, 5th Congressional District; Brig. Gen. Roger Allen, first and former director of the MYCA; Col. Michael Price (Ret), senior deputy director of state operations and director of strategic planning for the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs; Dr. Terrell Brown, 2005 graduate of the MYCA; Michael Gillum, director of the MYCA; Karen Gonser, deputy director of the MYCA; Josh Adams, principal of Marshall Public Schools; Capt. Nathan Boggerty, commandant of the MYCA; Kia Rosenberg, campus ministry director for Youth For Christ; and Cadet Lillian Troeger, cadet company commander for the MYCA.

The graduating class consists of cadets from across the state, hailing from 38 different counties: Allegan, Alpena, Baraga, Barry, Bay, Benzie, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Cheboygan, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Hillsdale, Huron, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Mackinac, Macomb, Monroe, Montgomery, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oakland, Osceola, Otsego, Ottawa, Saginaw, Shiawassee, St. Clair, St. Joseph and Wayne.

The voluntary academy is a cost-free alternative education program which offers at-risk youth the opportunity to change their future. As part of the curriculum, cadets participate in drill and ceremony formations, meet physical fitness standards, perform community service and receive classroom instruction.

Of the 118 anticipated graduates in this cycle, 96 are earning their high school diploma while the remaining cadets will earn their General Education Development certificate or continue their academic pursuits towards earning their high school diploma. Over the past 22 weeks, cadets have performed more than 5,600 hours of community service to help individuals and organizations in the Battle Creek area.

Class #51 will begin on July 14, 2024 and the MYCA is encouraging interested cadets and families to submit their application as quickly as possible here: Admissions Process. For more information:

  • Area codes 810, 586, 248 and 947 - contact Jayme Ham at 269-968-1397

  • Area codes 231, 269, 517, 616 and 906 - contact Joan Miller at 269-968-1368

  • Area codes 313, 734 and 989 - contact Yasser Quadri at 269-968-1048
Graduates of the MYCA are eligible for the Michigan Job Challenge Program, an extension program of the MYCA, which teaches workplace essentials, provides opportunities to learn a skilled trade and assists with job placement.

Media Contact: