Los Alamitos City Council welcomes the Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy student council to their regular meeting of Monday, May 17, 2016.
The student council from the current class at Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy attended the regular meeting of the Los Alamitos City Council on Monday, May 17.
The Council Chambers were filled to overflowing.
Members of the audience included, among others, students from Los Alamitos High School fulfilling a class requirement, honorees to be recognized the same evening, and members of the public attending to speak about proposed parking restrictions and a staff-recommended increase in the non-resident parking fee for the Fireworks Spectacular held annually at the Joint Forces Training Base.
The City Council invited the Sunburst students up to the dais. After Mayor Richard Murphy formally opened the meeting, a student led the Pledge of Allegiance. Another student offered an invocation.
Councilman Grose, a longstanding liaison between the City of Los Alamitos and the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, gave a brief description of the Sunburst program.
Housed in facilities on the west end of the JFTB, Sunburst offers “at risk” students a second chance. Over the five month residency, students are first stripped of bad attitudes and habits, then built up again to provide a solid platform for a future life as a productive and contributing citizen.
Attendance is voluntary — students must want to turn their lives around. There is a waiting list to attend.
The program is not a military academy. Students are taught high-school-level classes by teachers from the Orange County Department of Education. Discipline in and out of the classroom is taught and maintained by military cadres from the California National Guard. The current commandant, Lt. Col. Joel Armstrong, will be promoted at the end of this class term and move to Sacramento to be the Chief of Staff at Cal Guard HQ.
Graduates of the program keep their new attitude and self-discipline to a remarkable degree. The program is a model for similar National Guard programs nationwide.
The current class will graduate on Saturday, June 11. Congratulations!