Time to clap your hands and salute nine Flint teens for graduating from Michigan State Police Youth Academy.  Instead of spreading news about teens getting arrested or killed, share the achievement of youth in the Flint area.  

The Boys and Girls Club of Flint hosted the graduation of the nine teen boys who decided leadership was greater than getting in trouble.  According to MLive, the boys attended a five day academy that aims to teach character, integrity, excellence, and more in classroom setting and hands-on experience.

The academy is not a cakewalk for the young men; it challenges their decision making and leadership skills. Dominique Asbell, 17 years old, echoed that the academy is not a breeze.

"It's hard," Asbell said. "We had to be up at 5:30 in the morning, and we didn't go to bed until 10 at night."

Even the parents who attended the graduation were excited and proud.  Mary Sanders, parent of grad Marquis Sanders, said,

"I'm just so proud of him," she said. "I had to take time off of my new job to be here, but I think it's worth it."

Since the start of the Michigan State Police Youth Academy in 2005, 1000 young men have graduate from the program.  I am extremely proud to see our youth working positively with the police and gaining much needed skills.