Academy saves lives and reinvests in Wyoming

Martin Gubbels


Academy saves lives and reinvests in Wyoming

To the Editor:

WCCA has been in existence since 2005, graduating 1,257 youth. WCCA, saves lives, gives young adults one last chance at academic success, and offers them the courage to change.

The National Youth Challenge model calls for cadets to excel at each of these eight core components: Academic Excellence, Physical Training, Leadership/Followership, Health and Hygiene, Service to Community, Responsible Citizenship, Job Skills, Life Coping Skills. 

WCCA is a five-and-a-half-month residential program utilizing quasi military training. WCCA promotes continued success in its graduates. It is less expensive than alternative high schools, Wyoming Boys and Girls School. Some of our cadets come from broken homes, abusive backgrounds, and have experienced substance/alcohol abuse. Others have been expelled or dropped out. WCCA is the last chance for our cadets to receive an education. Studies show people without high school diplomas have a hard time finding work, make less income and are 83% more likely to go to prison. WCCA graduates are tax paying members of Wyoming communities. 

National Youth Challenge studies show that for every $1 spent, $1.60 is returned. In the last eight years, WCCA’s cadets have produced 41,870 hours of community service, reinvesting $303,557.50.

Wyoming Military Department has slated WCCA for closure. WMD is claiming that closing WCCA will save the state $9,593,465. The State of Wyoming will save $2,250.000. WCCA’s funding model is 75% federal/25% state funding.

In the WMD’s budget narrative, Agency Successes and Efficiencies, “since its establishment in 2005 the program has graduated more than 1,100 at-risk youth providing high school or equivalent degrees. The program continues to grow and support the youth of our state.” WMD has slated us for termination, with inflated financial numbers and unfounded claims.

I am a conservative, and understand the need for budget cuts. Please support WCCA. Our graduates reinvest millions of dollars back into Wyoming’s economy. WCCA is not a handout, it is a hand up. Please call, email, or write your state legislator, sign our petition or like savewcca on Facebook.


 — Martin Gubbels, Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy


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