Eight local cadets were among the 237 graduates from across Louisiana to graduate June 12 from the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program at Camp Beauregard in Pineville.
The ceremony was held at the Pentecostals of Alexandria Church in Alexandria.
Baton Rouge graduates are Colton R. Martinez, Steven D. Brown Jr., Jessie J. Johnson, G’Anna R. Sanders, Jace A. Toca, Alexander J. Watkins, Deandra D. Williams Jr., and James F. Williams.
Martinez was one of 12 cadets awarded the rank of five stars, the highest rank a cadet can receive.
The National Guard Youth Challenge program takes troubled high school dropouts, ages 16 to 18, and enrolls them in a boot-camp type facility that helps them work toward a General Educational Development certificate and steers them toward college, the work force or the military.