89 Cadets graduate for YCP Minden

By Marilyn Miller

Ceremonies for the 89 graduates of the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program – Camp Minden took place Saturday, July 15, 2023 at 11 a.m. at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport.

The program opened with prayer by Cadet Kamrynn Pope. The Cadet Color Guard from the YCP – Gillis Long Center Posted the Colors prior to the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Cadet Connor Shumate. The Cadet of the Cycle, Nadia Early, led the Cadet Creed. Master of Ceremonies, Major Logan Fileccia, deputy director of the YCP – Camp Minden, then introduced the official party and guests.

The Academic Top Ten were first up to be recognized. Earning those honors for the 2023-1 cycle (22-week educational and training time) were Connor Shumate, Wesley McGee, Michael Massey, Piper Pogue, Jaiah Delcambre, Nadia Early, Luke Mougeot, Logan Toups, Emma Gunter and Lorenzo Whitlock.

National Guard Youth Foundation Scholarships were presented to Landon Basco, Nadia Early, Brayden Edgecombe, Rebecca Galvan, Emma Gunter, Jontavius Lair, Cameron Migues, Piper Pogue, Connor Shumate and Justin Steger.

Job Challenge Programs Scholarships were earned by Landry Agoff, Landon Basco, Jay’Vonta Clark, Michael Clinton, Logan Cormier, Joshua Cotham, Kristopher Crowe, Jaiah Delcambre, Braxton Dietrich, Jada Fontenot, Emma Gunter, Tristen Hernandez, Tayln Hilsher, Jontavius Lair, Wesley McGee, Cameron Migues, Ayden Moore, Korbin Olivier, Jackson Palmisano, Caden Phinnisee, Piper Pogue, Marvin Ross, Justin Steger, Landan Toups, Logan Toups, Avontae Weston, Lorenzo Whitlock and Jayce Young.

The program also included recognition of the Youth Challenge Mentor Award recipients. After recognition of the Five-Star Cadets and Four-Star Cadets by 1SG Jeremy Jackson, commandant; the “Cadet of the Cycle” Nadia Early gave her remarks.

Graduation speeches were delivered by Mrs. Starla Townsend, director of the YCP – Camp Minden and special guest, Mayor Nick Cox, Mayor of the City of Minden.

Certificates for completion of the 2023-1 Cycle (Feb. 13, 2022 to July 16, 2023) were presented to Landry Agoff, Nicholas Barker, Jordan Barrilleaux, Dontavon Bartie, Landon Basko, Five-Star Cadet; Gailyn Battaglia, Josiah Bell, Massey Bennett, Dakota Berry, Miaraha Bryant-Jackson, Jeremy Calk, Bethany Cavalier, Jay’Vonta Clark, Michael Clinton, Logan Cormier, Joshua Cotham, Kristopher Crowe, Falynn Cupit, Rob’Tavious Darby, Savannah Davis, Five-Star Cadet; Jaiah Delcambre, Braxton Dietrich, Jeremiah Dixon, also;

Nadia Early, Cadet of the Cycle and Five-Star Cadet; Brayden Edgecombe, Breia Fontenot, Jada Fontenot, Brenda Free, Kelsey Fuentes, Rebecca Galvan, Hunter Glynn, Nathanial Godsey, Warrick Goss, Landon Guidry, Emma Gunter, Emily Hardy, Tristen Hernandez, Austin Hicks, Talyn Hilsher, Five-Star Cadet; Missy Hudson, Branson Johnson, Deonte Johnson, Garbriel Johnson, Malachi Johnson, Kaden Keppler, Jontavius Lair, Jayda Landry, Noah Lawson, Tyler LeBlanc, Jacie Ledet, Austin Lewis, Michael Manuel, Montrell Manuel, Ke’Mon Martin, Michael Massey, Alex McAllister, Wesley McGee, Zachrey Meche, Reese Menard, Antony Meyer, Cameron Migues, Aliday Miller, and;

Ayden Moore, Kyle Moore, Tyler Moore, Colby Mott, Luke Mougeot, Korbin Olivier, Jackson Palmisano, Mya Patterson, Nehemiah Phillips, Caden Phinnisee, Piper Pogue, Five-Star Cadet; Kamrynn Pope, Five-Star Cadet; Angel Prelow, Demitrice Rideau, Marvin Ross, Xavier Ruffin, Connor Shumate, Five-Star Cadet; Ryan Simmons, Taylor Steele, Justin Steger, Kyra Stewaard, Landan Toups, Logan Toups, Justin Vienne, Avontae Weston, Lorenzo Whitlock, and Jayce Young.

Cadet Nadia Early led the Tassel Ceremony. The benediction was delivered by Cadet Savannah Davis.

The Youth Challenge Program – Camp Minden Administrative Staff is led by director, Mrs. Starla Townsend. MAJ Logan Fileccia, deputy director; 1SG Jeremy Jackson, commandant; Ms. Virginia Lawrence, lead instructor; Mrs. India Hunter, lead counselor; and Ms. Tricia Sanford, post residential, complete the staff.

The Louisiana National Guard is led by MG Damian Keith Waddell, the Adjutant General.  LTC Kenneth Paul is director of Educational Programs for the State of Louisiana.

(Look for results of the YCP – Camp Minden Awards Day in a future edition of the Webster Parish Journal)