Absarokee cadet to graduate from Montana Youth Challenge Academy

Thursday, June 13, 2019
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            Cadet Sierra Hansen

Cadet Sierra Hansen from Absarokee will be among 40 to graduate June 15 from the Montana Youth Challenge Academy (MYCA) at the University of Montana-Western in Dillon.

According to a press release from the MYCA, Hansen realized she was making some bad decisions that were not good for her and had burned a lot of bridges with her family.

“I was having a hard time adjusting. I didn’t really have a lot of coping skills,” Hansen stated when asked about what led her to decide to come to the academy.

Hansen excelled at the program, passing her High School Equivalency Test and earning accolades in physical fitness, academics, and a permanent leadership position. She has dreams of becoming a police officer and her plan upon graduation is to attend job corps. When asked to use one word to describe how she feels about her time at MYCA and all that she has done, she said, “accomplished,” according to the press release.

Hansen also said her relationship with her family had improved, as had her outlook on life and attitude.


MYCA is a two-phase, academic-based program with a focus of assisting youth ages 16-18 by helping them to develop the academic and life skills necessary to be successful. MYCA anticipates graduating 3,091 youth to date.

Following graduation from the Residential Phase, students enter a 12-month Post Residential Phase in which they maintain on-going contact with a mentor in their community who provides additional support to the youth, often for many years following graduation, according to the press release.