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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bringing back the Show Me Challenge

Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2008, at 1:33 PM

Gleeful shouts of glad tidings circled the globe last month. State Rep Barney Fisher might one day rise from the fiscal ashes into which it sank three years ago, to once again serve the needs of the community and the youth who enter the program at risk and emerge as dedicated, contributing members of society.

Late last week, I got a phone call from a young Marine so inspired by the news that the program could come back that he called this newspaper from half a world away, in Okinawa, Japan. You see, he was a member of the last class of the Show Me Challenge at Camp Clark.

"It saved my life, ma'am." he said; and he was calling to see if there were anything he could do to encourage officials to bring back the program. He'd be more than willing to come back to the area and work with the youth in the program, he said, giving back something of the motiviation and zest for life the program helped him to find within himself.

What could he do now? he asked.

Well, the resurrection of the program is still several months away, and is by no means a certainty. But Fisher said he has high hopes, and officials seem to be looking favorably at the idea.

So I told the Marine to get in touch with Rep. Fisher, and to e-mail us. We'll do a feature story about him, his successes and his desire to help resurrect the program when he returns to the United States this spring.

Fisher recommended not inundating the governor's nor adjutant general's office with requests, but instead will formulate a letter that many folks can sign in the future. Meanwhile, there IS something readers can do. Comment online to this blog, and from time to time we'll print the messages of support in the newspaper. This way, readers can share ideas and their messages to officials will have an open forum. We'll make sure officials are aware of the site and the messages on it.

Do it today. This program, and the communities and individuals served by it are well worth it.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I was in the Show me Challenge program the second half of 2001.I'd say it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was hard but rewarding. After I got out I suggested it to anyone I knew that was dropping out of highschool. I don't know why in the world they cancelled such a wonderful program but as far as I'm concerned it was a loss. most of the people I knew in there changed drasticly by they time it was over. I could go on and on but I just wanted to say I'd support it. oh and Sgt. Wyatt, thanks for calling when my boy was born.

-- Posted by 3rd platoon on Wed, Jan 16, 2008, at 10:02 AM

I was the honor graduate of the last class to graduate from the program before it's closing I know first hand how it can change young peoples lives.Take me for example I know am a fulltime employee for the Missouri Army National Guards recruit Sustainment program I am an Assistant Coordinator over area 9 in Festus, Missouri. Most of my job consist of training new troops before they go to basic, I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for the program I owe everything that I have become to good old camp clark.AS a matter of fact I would drop the job I have right know just to work there as cadre.

-- Posted by Dustin Stepp on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 7:09 PM

It is heartwarming to read the testimonials of the young people from the Show Me ChalleNGe Program. I understand that Rep. Fisher continues to work on getting the program back to Camp Clark. He would probably find it very beneficial to hear from past graduates and workers.

-- Posted by ETB on Sat, Mar 8, 2008, at 12:47 AM

my name is lucy, also known as cadet barnes. I graduated in 2000 from the show me challenge program. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made by joining. it turned my life around and gave me the tools to make a great future for myself. I joined the army right after graduation, and am now a proud wife and mother of 2. I would love to see the program reopen and help many other kids the way it did me. thank you to all the sgt's and officers that helped me become who I am today. I will forever be grateful.

-- Posted by prego2x on Mon, Jul 5, 2010, at 8:44 PM

I graduated from this program in 2001. Since then, I spent four years in the Marine Corps with two combat tours, four years in the Army attaining Noncommissioned officer of the year and USO Soldier of the year, and am now a newly appointed officer in the Army as a pilot. I don't want to think about where I would be(possibly behind bars) without having gone through this program. I highly suggest that this program be reopened, and will give any support needed.

-- Posted by Chief Green on Fri, Nov 26, 2010, at 9:49 PM

Hello my name is Rose, I almost registered my daughter into this program by in 2000. I my husband and teenaged drop out daughter drove their to meet and investigate this program. However, I was very impressed with the people I met and the army like base facility that we seen. I was sent information before hand and a video tape to view. Unfortunately, my daughter didn't make it into the program because of some medical issues she discovered before signing in and need medical attention instead. I was really disappointed when I found out later that the program had closed down. I know this is what my daughter needed and she also agreed herself. She needed strict discipline and a structure environment. We was referred by one of the behavior schools advisers that she attended. I would love to see this program up and running again to save youth lives from going to prison or something. All they need is a little discipline and a structure environment. This program will make or break them into being the best that they could be and want to be a better person. Bring in troops that really served the army and allow them to use their skills and training to save these trouble lives of these teenagers. This could be also away of recruiting new military soldiers if they would want to continue this life style a little longer after graduation. I think the government should help support this program so those who need it can attend. As I remember, not everyone was eligible to attend without being referred by a school or agent. I believe it is designed for someone who really want to do better or better themselves. I would support this program in anyway I can. If you need me in the future just post a message for me. I'll check this site once a month. Thank You.

-- Posted by rpinkney on Fri, May 16, 2014, at 12:22 PM

I joined SMCP in 2000 and graduated with the top physical fitness award for the females. I was on the basketball team as well as the Drill team. This program was the best decision I could have made for myself and I owe who I am today in part to the staff and sergeants. After graduation I went into the Army. Thank you Sergeant Johnson, Sergeant Neeley, and Sergeant Lanning. You have and always will have a place in my heart.

-- Posted by armymom2001 on Wed, Apr 15, 2015, at 3:41 PM

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