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Post Residential Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 8 August 2005

National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program News

"MARINE IDOL" JOSH GRACIN JOINS CELEBRITY COUNCIL FOR THE NGYCP The National Guard Youth Foundation announced that Lyric Street recording artist Josh Gracin will serve on the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe celebrity council. Gracin is the latest celebrity to step forward to help at-risk youth. The program's Celebrity Council includes actors Tom Selleck, Dennis Franz, Gerald McCraney, Lorenzo Lamas, talk show host Montel Williams, NBA star John Salley, and winner of "The Apprentice" Kelly Perdew. For country music fans, one of the highlights of "America Idol 2" was the success of Josh Gracin, a young Marine who won hearts and gained national media attention as the 3rd runner up. An active duty Marine when he recorded and released his debut album, Gracin completed four years of service with the U.S. Marine Corps and received an honorable discharge at the rank of Lance Corporal on September 7, 2004. Just last week, the Recording Industry Association of America certified his selftitled debut album Gold (sales over 500,000). Gracin credits his military service for giving him the discipline to pursue his goals in life. "I am honored and proud to represent the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program," said Gracin. "Our children, especially at-risk youth, are of vital importance to our country. How they lead their lives will ultimately shape the future of our nation." Members of the Celebrity Council pledge to help raise awareness and visibility for the Program in a variety of ways, including speaking to cadets at Program sites across the country, taping public service announcements, and meeting with members Inside this issue:

What is Culture? ChalleNGe News Continued 2 3

of Congress and other influencers as advocates for the Program. ALASKA FIRST LADY LEADS NATIONAL EFFORT FOR YOUTH CHALLENGE Alaska First Lady Nancy Murkowski and First Spouses from around the country launched a national outreach effort in June to raise awareness about the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. The initiative was announced during the Western Governors' Association meeting in Breckenridge, CO. The outreach effort is aimed at gathering a coalition of First Spouses from across the country in states that host Youth Challenge Academies. The First Spouses are writing letters to Mrs. Bush in support of the NGYCP and asking her to visit a program. The First Spouses hope Mrs. Bush, who has made at-risk youth a priority, will support efforts to expand the program and include the NGYCP in plans for the White


Above, Mrs. Murkowski with National Guard Youth Challenge Cadets

House Conference on Helping America's Youth.

Continued on page 3

Key Calendar Dates

Graduation Class 2005-2: 14 December 2005 - 11:00 AM Deschutes County Fairgrounds Redmond OR Mentor Training: 27 August 2005 Next Class Begins: January 2006

FAX: 541 318-1180


OUR MISSION: Is to provide opportunities for personal growth, self-improvement and academic achievement among Oregon high school drop outs,

youth no longer attending and those failing in school, through a highly structured non-traditional environment; integrating training, mentoring and diverse educational activities.

23861 DODDS RD


97701 PHONE: 541 317-9623

Case Managers

(541) 317-9623 Sandra Jensen Ext 245 [email protected] Mary Clair Ext 235 [email protected] Joel Garibay Ext 225 [email protected] Aleta Johnson Ext 227


From: Students In Business, Inc., Be A Mentor Program, "Training Guide for Volunteer Mentors",

· · · ·

[email protected]



· ·

Admissions Coordinator David Medina

Ext 223

[email protected]

Challenge Editor: Sandra Jensen 541 317-9623 Ext 245

Culture is a set of mental rules for survival and success that a particular group of people has developed. Culture is that part of the environment made by humans; it includes customs and values as well as material objects. Cultures are learned and communicated consciously and unconsciously to subsequent generations. Cultures are multifaceted, including factors like family structure, spirituality, language, technology, organizations, law, art, body image, parenting practices, concept of growth, aging and death. Cultures are dynamic; that is, they are characterized by continuous ­ though sometimes incremental change. Culture is a way of life that makes a group of people unique. We have multiple, overlapping cultural identities. The culture and sub-cultures of my religion, my ethnic heritage, my gender, and the dominant culture of the geographic region where I grew up or live now, for example, may inform who I am, in different ways. Practically speaking, no person is the product of one culture alone.

Our Internal Dialogue

Our internal dialogue of what any given person means, thinks, wants, or needs cannot be fully accurate since . . . · No one culture defines any person, but rather a mix of the cultures a person has lived in or learned from informs what we think, feel, want and need. · We are interpreting the other person's culture, personality, demeanor, words, and actions through a screen of our own cultural values. Even if our culture and organization call on us to be non-judgmental or open-minded, our minds will naturally still pose the questions "true or false", "good or bad", "beautiful or ugly". We answer those questions in a non-stop, mostly sub-conscious conversation within ourselves. So what does this knowledge help us do that can be useful in cross-cultural interactions? When we are conscious of our dialogue, we can. . . · ACKNOWLEDGE that others will see a situation, person, or event differently. · UNDERSTAND that reasonable people can and will reasonably disagree about meanings and significance. · TAKE a conscious and healthy interest in how you perceive the world differently than I do. · KNOW that my reactions and judgments have a legitimate source ­ they make sense in the context of my own unique mix of cultural contexts. They help me survive and succeed there.



Why is Communicating Interculturally Difficult?

· · · Cultures provide us with roles, telling us who to be, how to act, what is okay to say ­ and to whom. Actual language differences often prohibit us from reaching shared meaning. Our perceptions about people and events are determined by culture, as are our goals and motivations, and our basic notions about human nature and self. Prejudice and stereotypes can pop up in communication, often without us recognizing them as such in advance. Frustration, hurt, guilt, or anger from previous encounters with the same person or other people with similar cultural backgrounds can stand in the way. Assuming similarity when none exists is also a barrier to communication.

· ·

Creating Inclusion

Our goal in mentoring relationships ­ especially in "cross-difference" mentoring (cross-age, cross-cultural) ­ is to crate "inclusion". An inclusive environment is one in which you feel valued and respected by me, and I feel valued and respected by you. When we create that mutual, almost physical, feeling of being valued and respected, we'll resonate with our similarities and differences. Where better to create this than in a mentoring relationship? Firestarter/contents/FS3009.htm


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Continued from Page one

THOUSANDS OF AT-RISK YOUTH GRADUATE THIS SUMMER This summer in 24 states around the country, over 3,100 at-risk teenagers will graduate from the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. Once among the nearly 2,539 teenagers who drop out of high school each day, these young men and women will graduate from the program with the values, skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as positive and productive adults in society. Since 1993, over 59,000 former high school dropouts successfully completed the Residential Phase of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program and more than 96 percent immediately entered the work force, continued their education or joined the military. FIRST LADY OF CA GREETS GYA CADETS

First Lady Maria Shriver meets with Grizzly Youth Academy Cadets during their Capitol Day activities

pating organizations, is a coalition of business, community and government leaders and volunteers. Established in 1994 out of appreciation for the United States' leadership in the Gulf War, the Do the Write Thing Challenge began as a local program in Washington and expanded in 1996 to other cities across the United States. Today, the program includes 18 cities and 20 National Guard sites. The National Campaign to Stop Violence now oversees the annual writing contest. The primary objective of the Do the Write Thing Challenge is to motivate teenagers to make a personal commitment not to engage in violent acts and to reduce youth violence. By encouraging students to make commitments to solve the problem, the program ultimately seeks to empower them to break the cycles of violence in their homes, schools and neighborhoods USO OF METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON HONORS CHALLENGE PROGRAM USO of the Metropolitan Washington (USO-Metro) along with special guests Kelly Perdew (winner of The Apprentice), Daniel Rodriguez, and World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Chris Nowinski, recognized eleven National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program Award Winners from nine states at a special Military Appreciation Ceremony on Capitol Hill in May. Congressmen and Senators from the winning states were on hand to congratulate the recipients. NGYCP programs from West Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, Illinois, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana were recognized during the ceremony.

WV Sen. Robert Byrd, Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, Lt. Gen. John Conaway, a member of the NGYF Board and VP of Merrill Lynch Eddy Bayardelle pose with members of the West Virginia Mountaineer Youth Challenge Academy as they receive scholarship


Pictured is Georgia NGYCP Cadet Layla Roberts, contest winner

A poem written by 16-yearold National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Cadet Layla Roberts of McDonough, Ga., describing the impact of violence on her life has won the National Campaign to Stop Violence Do the Write Thing Challenge. Cadet Roberts' poem, along with the writings of other national finalists, was presented to the Library of Congress. Roberts read her poem at the Library of Congress held in Washington on July 11-13 during the annual campaign festivities. Roberts' poem describes the changes in her life following the untimely and violent death of her uncle who was shot 29 times in the chest while stopping to pick up his brother. She writes about the shock of his death and her depression and life on the streets that followed. Ultimately, she was guided to the Youth ChalleNGe Program, where she is a cadet with the Georgia ChalleNGe site at Fort Gordon. The National Campaign to Stop Violence, sponsored by the Kuwait-America Foundation along with other particiVOLUME 2, ISSUE 8




The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is a 17month, co-ed program for high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 18. Program participants are offered the opportunity to enhance their life skills, earn their GED and go on to higher education, improve their employment potential and broaden their chance at success. For more information about the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, go to

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23861 Dodds Rd. Bend OR 97701 Phone: 541-317-9623 Fax: 541-318-1180

b! We the .com on ycp e e'r w.o W ww

* * * Address Correction Requested * * *

Yes!, I'd like to help Oregon Youth ChalleNGe through

the Central Oregon Youth Investment Foundation.

I am donating . . . _____ $25 _____ $50 _____ $100 Other $ ________ Optional Please use my donation to Oregon Youth ChalleNGe for : I'm interested in volunteer opportunities at Oregon Youth ChalleNGe I'm interested in becoming a mentor for Oregon Youth ChalleNGe I'd like more information about Oregon Youth ChalleNGe Name: Address: Phone Number: Home: Email: Business Phone: _______ . . . . .

Please detach this form and send it, along with your check.

OUR MISSION: Is to provide opportunities for personal growth, self improvement and academic achievement among Oregon high school drop outs, youth no longer attending and those failing in school, through a highly structured non-traditional environment; integrating training, mentoring and diverse educational activities.


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