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They made us proud

Ask many young people what they want to do when they grow up and you will hear such things as firefighter, policeman, doctor, lawyer, nurse, ballerina and so on. But ask another group and you may hear nothing. They don’t know because they have no dreams.

They may be living without self-esteem, without confidence in themselves, without direction and without the necessary role models in their lives.

And when one or more of those forces is working against them, they can very easily stray and end up in trouble.

They may be failing in school, or at least finding it hard to

achieve. They may fall into the wrong crowd and end up on the wrong side of the law … or worse.

For those who have found themselves floating aimlessly while others around them are swimming, there is hope.

In Hampton Roads, that hope comes in the form of The Virginia Commonwelath ChalleNGe, a program designed to help at-risk teens through military-style discipline and structure.

Those accepted into the program spends months developing life-coping and work skills, and learn citizenship, leadership, health education, physical fitness and community service.

Five of Suffolk’s own recently graduated from this program. They are James Boone, Taylor Layne, Louis Rodriguez, Anthony Talley and David Wicks.

Before being accepted, their futures were unsure. They had little direction and were headed down that slippery slope.

But today, with the skills they have acquired, all of them have goals and dreams to better themselves.

We are proud of their accomplishments and wish them well in their future endeavors.