- Thunderbird Youth Academy was established in 1993 as a pilot program of the National Guard; the National Gaurd Youth Challenge Program.
- The goal of the program is to reclaim at-risk youth and help them become productive citizens
- It is administered through the Oklahoma Military Department and the Oklahoma National Guard.
- Thunderbird Youth Academy has graduated more than 3,700 of Oklahoma's at-risk teens; Putting them on a path of success through GED testing, high school credits and the self-discipline and the knowledge that they can succeed
Thunderbird Youth Academy is located within the City of Pryor in Northeastern Oklahoma. The Academy is situated on the former Whitaker Education Training Center grounds.
- For the first 22 weeks, enrolled youth are in residence at the Thunderbird Youth Academy campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This phase instills in each Cadet a sense of self-discipline and community spirit built around the programs eight core objectives.
- During the 12 month post-residential phase of the program, case managers from Thunderbird Youth Academy contact the graduate and his/her mentor on a monthly basis to follow up and collect data on the continued success of the graduate.
Mission of the Academy
The shared mission of Thunderbird Youth Academy and the National Guard Youth Challenge Program is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year olds, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens. Creating a positive change through the core components of;
- Academic Excellence
- Health and Hygiene
- Job Skills
- Life Coping Skills
- Physical Fitness
- Service to the Community
- Responsible Citizenship
Thunderbird Youth Academy provides much needed educational opportunities for Oklahoma's high school dropouts;
- GED Option
- High School Credit Recovery Option
- College Classes
- Life Skills
- 16-18 years of age
- US Citizen or Resident Status
- Cannot already have his/her High School Diploma or GED
- Not previously convicted of felony or capital offense.
- Must be mentally and physically able to complete the program