Nestled in Battle Creek, Michigan, on the grounds of Fort Custer live the cadets of Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy. At-risk teens ages 16 to 18 volunteer to attend this program to improve their lives and learn skills to stay out of trouble as they transition to adult life. Operated by the Michigan National Guard, the cadets are provided with training, education through Marshall Public Schools, and help with finding a job after they leave the academy. Some graduates of the program go on to join the military. The program is free due to funding from the federal government and the state of Michigan. 75% and 25% respectively.
The cadets have the opportunity to participate in many activities, including volunteer work and community service. They travel all over the state and volunteer for different organizations, emergency relief, and food pantries. In fact, recently there was a city in need in Michigan they offered to come and work, but the Snyder administration told them no. That city is Flint.
MYCA offered to come to Flint and help pass out and deliver water to Flint residents, but the Snyder administration told them no.
Now this is odd, because it seems like a perfect fit for MYCA. Rick Snyder activated the National Guard to help in Flint, and MYCA is run by the Michigan National Guard. It’s not like Flint had too many helping hands, and having MYCA cadets passing out water could only be a benefit. The interesting thing is, the National Guard who run the program have no idea why MYCA were told not to come to Flint, just that Snyder told them stay home.
It is possible because a quarter of MYCA’s funding comes from the state that the state government can tell MYCA where they’re allowed to volunteer. But, three quarters of the program’s funding comes from the federal government. Perhaps President Obama can override the Snyder administration’s decision and allow MYCA volunteer in Flint after all when he comes to Flint for his visit next week.