Five Youth Graduate From Geneva’s YRTC

The graduation of five teens from the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva (YRTC-Geneva) is a milestone that holds quite a bit of weight for the youth and the team members who worked with them. For the graduates, the ceremony was particularly important, symbolizing their ability to reintegrate into the community as productive citizens and responsible adults.
When asked about their experience, the students offered glowing remarks and largely credited their instructors for their success. “The teachers helped me achieve my goal. I gave up on myself, but they never gave up on me,” one graduate said. “I was able to graduate because Mr. Schoop helped me with math…when I didn’t want to do it,” stated another. “Ms. Yunevich kept me focused and pushed me when I needed to be pushed,” a third shared.
All of the graduates now have big plans for the future. Of the five, four want to explore careers in criminal justice/pre-law or social services at 4-year colleges.  The fifth graduate hopes for a career in culinary arts or computer science, after attending WSC or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The graduation ceremony was held December 22, at All Faith’s Chapel in Grand Island. During the service, the seniors were addressed by Father Scott Courtney, one of the Center’s many volunteers.
The Center has had a lot to celebrate. Last year, YRTC-Geneva was reviewed by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and passed all mandatory and non-mandatory standards for a 100 percent compliance rate. This year, YRTC-Geneva received official notice of its three-year reaccreditation at a January 6 hearing before the ACA in Orlando, FL. Among those in attendance were Dan Scarborough, Facility Administrator, and Mark LaBouchardiere, Facilities Director. “We were confident YRTC-G would be reaccredited. Significant strides have been made and that’s reflected in our compliance rate, as well as in the accomplishments the youth we serve are making,” LaBouchardiere said.
The four Commissioners at the hearing congratulated the YRTC for its excellence in operation, as well as its 100 percent compliance rating with the accreditation standards. “YRTC-Geneva’s excellent performance on the most recent ACA audit is evidence of the high level of consistency, stability, safety, and care we provide to the youth we serve.  The productive environment we foster contributes significantly to the students being able to flourish academically,” said Principal Matt Asche.
Graduation ceremonies are held at the end of each grading term (quarter, semester, and summer school), on an as-needed basis. The number of graduates depends upon each student’s unique academic situation. In order to graduate with a high school diploma, however, students must meet established graduation requirements, just as they would at any other accredited high school.
Established in 1891, the family-focused mission of YRTC-Geneva is to provide a place where young women can learn, develop a sense of self, and return to their homes as law-abiding citizens.

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