Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation formally naming and establishing the Alaska Military Youth Academy (AMYA). The academy was once known as the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy.
House Bill 180, sponsored by Representative Tammie Wilson and Senator Cathy Giessel, allows AMYA to be a permanent component of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) by giving DMVA the authority to establish and operate AMYA. It repeals the funding formula for AMYA and provides for a direct appropriation based on the number of graduates.
Governor Parnell signed HB 180 with a class of cadets from AMYA in attendance, as well as commissioners and legislators.
"Today, I sign a bill that recognizes our Alaska Military Youth Academy is a permanent institution in Alaska," Governor Parnell said. "AMYA built itself from the ground up through the hard work and dedication of many people who believed that cadets like you deserve a chance."
AMYA serves Alaska's at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 19 who have dropped out of high school. The 24-hour military-style school was established as a pilot program in 1994 and has graduated more than 4,000 cadets since its inception.