LANSING, Mich. –
The Michigan Job Challenge Program (MJCP) is a free, voluntary, 20-week residential co-ed program guiding youth towards responsible citizenship and a life-sustaining career. The Job Challenge program motivates at-risk youth by helping to instill self-discipline, leadership and responsibility. During their time in the program, students can earn their GED or High School diploma, as well as college credits from Kellogg Community College (KCC). Life skills such as time management, budgeting and responsibility for one’s surroundings are developed in order to help the students be successful when heading out into the community to find a career.
According to Doreen Viney, deputy director, MJCP, the five-month residential program focusses on developing vocational skills through classroom instruction and experiential learning about the real-world workplace. MJCP collaborates with businesses throughout Michigan to develop and implement internships, apprenticeships, enhanced education in career pathways, job shadowing and job placement.
"We pick classes and skills that are in high demand within the state," said Viney. "These young adults need direction and help to acquire skills and discipline to make the decision they need to be successful in a job or career in their community."
Some students decided to enter the program due to friends or a family member who had successful experiences with MJCP. Destiny Camacho-Seqouia’s brother graduated from the program a couple years prior to her joining this year’s class.
“My brother and I needed help and guidance. He went through the MJCP and is doing well, has a good job and enjoys working,” said Camacho-Seqouia. “I want to follow in his footsteps to get the help I need to get the skills and training to do the same thing: get a job and provide for myself and help my family.”
During her time in the program, Camacho-Seqouia’s goal is to complete her High School diploma and receive training in restaurant management.
MJCP provides educational opportunities in trade pathways such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Construction, Electronics, Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC), Machining, Pipefitting, Robotics, Welding, Drone and Restaurant Management.
"Approximately 78 percent of our last fully-tracked graduating class are now doing something positive for their communities," said Jennifer Stowell, lead post case manager for the MJCP. "We have students that either joined the military, go to work or have gone on to college or trade school.”
Visit Michigan.gov/MYCA for more information on the Michigan National Guard Challenge Programs.