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Sunburst Youth Challenge Academy offers structure, routine for students looking for positive focus

Nov 5, 2022

LOS ALAMITOS (KABC) -- At the Sunburst Youth Challenge Academy in Los Alamitos structure, routine, and discipline are at its core. Students or "cadets" enrolled here are given a chance to turn their lives around through the program run by the California National Guard.

"I was feeling lost in the outside world like too many distractions I was like I want something better for my life without doing the same thing over and over again," said 11th grader Eliah Green.

Green, like her fellow cadets, had fallen behind in school and was at risk of dropping out when she came to the academy.

"They as an individual have to make that choice to come to this school and apply," said Master Sgt. Neil Ballecer, Sunburst Youth Academy.

During the five-and-a-half-month residency program, cadets are led by the men and women of the California National Guard. Some are active duty and others retired veterans who lead the daily drills...

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