Linda Lee Ratto We Catch Them Falling

ISBN 13: 9781932496086

We Catch Them Falling

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9781932496086: We Catch Them Falling
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How the Book Evolved
I had the honor of taking a tour of Georgia’s first YCA facility, which started as a C-130 cargo plane ride packed with 100 other educators, clergy, legislators, attorneys, and child advocates. On ground student-cadets, with verbal skills that rival any public speaking professional, treated us to vivid presentations about their backgrounds and YC experience. Each teen was poised, well informed, self-motivated, and not afraid to make eye contact. They spoke of their past mistakes, current achievements and future goals, and were a far cry from the confused, aimless dropouts they once were.

The applause following the presentations was deafening.

Quick Program Overview
Once cadets complete an initial 22-week course, after which they earn GED’s, high school diplomas, technical and/or college credits, they receive a full year of post-graduation counseling with a community mentor of their choice. Graduate careers range from computer and other high-skills jobs and certified self-employable licensures, to military positions, with many becoming degree-seeking college students. Besides the solid structure of the program, much credit is due to the caring, well-trained YC Directors, Cadre, teachers, and counselors that make this program an inch-per-inch, resounding success. DISABILITY? NO WAY NOW!
One example of the life-altering aspects of Youth ChalleNGe is the poignant story of a cadet who is deaf and whose parents placed her in foster care when they could no longer handle her needs. After passing through a dozen foster homes and schools in her 16 years, she is now graduating from YC with a high school diploma and college courses under her belt. She will have ear surgery in the near future (paid for by YC benefactors) moving her life onto a successful track. Her achievements are a direct result of her inner strength and the safe, secure, nurturing environment the YC program has provided.

Tuition for this unique, voluntary program is free for all students, thanks to our tax dollars and private, local commitments. The cost? Far under the day cost to house a teen in a youth detention center. Sounds like a good use of that tax money to me.

Minors who have quit middle and high schools, as well as alternative and night schools, dig deep holes for themselves. With little education and no diploma, they have nowhere to go and few options. Youth ChalleNGe is a top high school dropout program in the country and has a tough, demanding, no-nonsense approach to rebuilding children’s lives. Their mission is clear: to integrate military personnel within our civilian communities and provide at-risk youth with solutions: the education and life skills they need to become healthy, fit, employable, productive members of society. Every cadet I’ve met -- several hundred in all -- is just that.

Too often, children’s programs allow many to fall through the cracks, left to fend for themselves when of legal age. YC’s highly academic, community service-oriented program is a safety net our education systems need. If you know an at-risk teen who could use a new direction or second chance, please call the National Guard Bureau, Youth Programs Division at 703.607.

The National Guard Youth Foundation, the non-profit organization comprised of wonderful volunteers who generate funding for the YC programs, accepts donations with joy and tax deduction capability.

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From the Publisher:

Never before have they been intimately interview for a comprehensive book about their at-risk teens program. Author, Linda Lee Ratto lived in the barracks with cadets, cadre and counselors of the National Guard’s Youth Challenge Program for high school drop-outs in Oregon and Georgia. An educator and author, Mrs. Ratto tape-recorded harrowing stories from gang rape and murder to watching relatives shoot-up, these kids lined-up to tell their stories and show the pride they had in making it "outta there."

After presenting the book outline to the National Guard Youth Foundation’s board of directors in 2001, Mrs. Ratto completed this first Youth Challenge (YC) book. Then September 11th happened. The National Guard had many other priorities and it wasn’t until this past tenth anniversary of the YC program, that the book finally was published.

NOTE: Proceeds from each book will be donated to the National Guard Youth Foundation to build more schools. Housed in 27 states and Puerto Rica, the National Guard hope to utilize bases in the rest of the fifty states in the next few years.

With 40,000 high school drop-outs annually, in Georgia alone, Mrs. Ratto’s appeal for every citizen to buy a few books is a concrete way to make a difference in an at-risk teen’s life. YOU CAN HELP by gifting a copy to yourself, a family friend in need, and another copy to your school counselors.

From the Author:

Why This Book was Written

I am tired of taxes.

Most of us are—however, I discovered a profoundly productive use of our Federal and State dollars that inspired me into action: the National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy (NG YCA). I toured the Fort Stewart Hinesville military base near historic Savannah, Georgia and the natural beauty of Oregon’s YC Program (OR YCP) in central Bend. From east to west, students fall through our cultural and societal cracks in staggering, yet similar ways.

Founded in 1992 to meet the screaming needs of the nation’s escalating number of high school drop outs, each YC assists between 100-600 teens ages 16 to 18 each year. This culminates in providing opportunity for over 7,000 youngsters annually. As Colonel Frank Williams, Georgia’s YCA 2-school program director explains, "We catch the youngsters in the fall."

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9781475257991: We Catch Them Falling

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ISBN 10:  1475257996 ISBN 13:  9781475257991
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishi..., 2003
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