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Jun 20, 2019

Belize Youth Challenge Graduates 31 Cadets

Today, thirty-one young men from across the country proudly marched up to receive their recognition and award for having successfully completed the 2019 Belize Youth Challenge. The initiative is modeled from a similarly successful Youth Challenge Programme run by the Louisiana National Guard in the United States and was established with their technical support. Over the course of ten months, the participants learned discipline, leadership, and teamwork through academic and vocational classes, as well as physical training and military drills. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Ten months ago these thirty-one young men, ages fifteen to seventeen, embarked on a challenge that would see them change their character for the better. As part of the Belize Youth Challenge, intake number two was equipped with life skills coupled with behavior modification training as part of the first phase of the challenge. The cadets also enjoyed academic, vocational and technical training.


Sylvestre Ico Jr.

Sgt. Sylvestre Ico Jr., Graduate

“It was a lot of work attending classes and completing our assignments so we were able to receive our first semester grades. I for one  had a lot of stumbles getting familiar with the new work load of the classroom settings of online high school. All thirty one of us standing a step further without anyone to guide us anymore.  I feel like I have largely expanded my skills both academically and disciplinary. I stand prepared to reenter society as a changed adolescent driven student equipped  to continue my journey to adult hood. For this I remain thankful to every B.D.F., teacher staff that I have been bless to work with this past ten months. It was a great challenge.”


The idea is to tap into the potential of these cadets, instill discipline and encourage them to thrive in a community that under different circumstances would entrap them in a cycle of crime.


Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, National Security

“The fundamental aim is to help our youth to turn away from the temptations of criminal activity which may look like an easy road but is an easy slope to destruction. But rather to develop their talents and skills in a way that boosts their own self confidence and encourage them to add value to their communities and to our society in a lasting way.”


For the cadets, their final step was a pledge to maintain honesty and reject the need or want to lie, steal, cheat and smoke. Now they are to return to their respective communities and achieve their goals.



Angel Campos

Dr. Angel Campos, Minister of State, Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation

“You have reached a crucial milestone and we must celebrate this but remember that this does not stop here. There will be bumps on your path but with your new found skills and support, it is my sincere wish like Nelson Mandela that your choice reflects your hopes and not your fears.”


The Belize Youth Challenge is a partnership between the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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