Photo provided by Washington Youth Academy Director Larry Pierce Jonah Whitmarsh (right) graduates Washington Youth Academy.

Whidbey teens graduate academy

  • Friday, January 20, 2017 3:53pm
  • Life

Two teens from Whidbey Island were among 149 cadets who graduated from the Washington Youth Academy on Dec. 17.

Cadets from across the state attend the free residential school, geared at teaching teens discipline and helping them recover credits so they can return to high school to earn a diploma, GED or join Running Start.

The Washington Youth Academy is a division of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program.

Cadets included JONAH WHITMARSH, of Greenbank, a student at Coupeville High School, and SPENCER ARIES, of Freeland, who a student at South Whidbey High School.

With a graduation rate of 90.1 percent, Youth Academy Director Larry Pierce says the Class of 2016-2 had the best percentage to graduate from any class to date.

Cadets can earn up to eight credits — almost a year and a half of high school — in just 22 weeks.

For 2016, the average number of credits earned was 7.8. Cadets also completed 8,181 hours of community service.

by helping to clean a Sept. 11, 2001 memorial, tending to park trails, tutoring youth and donating blood to the Red Cross.

“They’ve learned a lot of new things that have increased and bolstered their confidence, discipline and teamwork,” Pierce said.

The mission of the Washington Youth Academy is to provide a highly disciplined, safe and professional learning environment that empowers at-risk youth to improve their educational levels and employment potential and become responsible and productive citizens of the State of Washington.

New classes start in January with a second class slated for July. Learn more about the program online http://mil.wa.gov/youth-academy

Spencer Aries (right) graduates Washington Youth Academy. Photo provided by Washington Youth Academy Director Larry Pierce

More in Life

Sharing her passion for rowing

‘I have always loved being on the water’ — Cece Aguda

Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group.
                                <em>Cornet Bay Company owners Arnie and Joanne Deckwa stand with their new seafood line of sauces. In the background, painted on their RV is the company’s logo depicting Cornet Bay, the view across from their office.</em>
Walmart picks up Cornet Bay Co.’s sauces

Though it’s been producing and selling gourmet sauces, dressing, seasonings and dips… Continue reading

4-H Rally Day emphasizes diverse activities

The nation’s largest youth development and mentoring organization is looking for some… Continue reading

Museum debuts history tour

Fundraiser combines talks, walk and wine tasting

Suva sails away with awards at boat festival

Schooner ‘People’s Choice’ at Seattle wooden boat festival

Captured beauty

Photo of Useless Bay selected for cover of Land Trust calendar

Haunting of Coupeville: Events throughout the month offer thrills, chills

On Monday morning, Coupeville residents awoke to find their quaint, seaside town… Continue reading

Autumn flavors: Whidbey offers perfect fall ingredients for your table

A chill is in the air and farmers markets are overflowing with… Continue reading

Society shaking the family tree

Langley Archive and Research Center to help search for family history

Cider Fest rules!

Sept. 29 event features freshly-pressed juice, food, music, fun for kids

Photo by Maria Matson / Whidbey News-Times
                                <em>Whidbey Island resident Dick Evans will be signing and selling copies of his book, “Fazkils,” at the Clinton Community Hall on Saturday.</em>
In a new book, Hollywood actor, author reflects on his life, career

Richard “Dick” Evans is an actor, writer and director with a long… Continue reading

Virtuosos join forces at Djangofest

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux will… Continue reading