Emily Phillips, of Prairieville, was among 219 cadets graduating from the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program at Camp Minden during a ceremony at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium on July 25, a news release said.

State Sen. Gerald Long, R-Winnfield, gave a commencement address. Also present was state Rep. Henry L. Burns, R-Haughton.

The Youth Challenge Program offers cadets additional opportunities to further their educational goals through partnerships with Bossier Parish Community College and Associated Building Contractors.

“YCP graduations are always bittersweet. Watching the cadets grow from Week 1 to Week 22 is a blessed experience. The journey has been long, and they have earned the privilege to graduate,” Camp Minden YCP Director Capt. Jason Montgomery said.

The mission of the Louisiana National Guard YCP is to equip adolescents with the values, life skills, education and self-discipline necessary to become productive citizens.