CBS will be airing the final segment of its coverage of Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy tonight at 6:30 p.m. during the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.
Sunburst, based out of Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, is run by the California National Guard as part of an outreach program to at-risk youth. Teenagers between 16 and 18 are offered an intensive 22-week program which instills physical and mental discipline and hopefully roots out the destructive behaviors that had been controlling their lives.
The CBS Evening News has been following the progress of the latest class to go through the intensive program.
Orange County Breeze editor Shelley Henderson previously attended Day 1 of the Sunburst program; it begins with a pre-dawn wake-up call and early morning run, followed by numerous other physical activities designed to teach the teens the importance of following directions and working together to accomplish goals.
The program is anything but easy; some of the teens don’t make it the entire five and a half months. Those who do, however, walk to the podium with their heads held high, buoyed by the pride at having accomplished something real and meaningful for the first time in years. That feeling and the knowledge of their own strengths and abilities will have a profound impact on their lives.
To learn more about CBS’s coverage of Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy, visit their website.
The next class session begins in January 2015. For more information about Sunburst, visit their website or call 562-936-1759, o puede llamar al 562-936-1763.
Members of Class 12 enter the auditorium at Cottonwood Church for their commencement, a ceremony that some students never expected to participate in.
Cadets wearing caps and gowns earned enough credits to receive their high school diploma. Some were returning from earlier classes to participate in the Sunburst ceremony.
Photo by C.E.H. Wiedel.