Correctional Facility Helps Students Succeed - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Correctional Facility Helps Students Succeed

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Mandan's Youth Correctional Center says everyone deserves a second chance.
The facility has a school to help students continue their education and hope turn their lives around.

Out of respect for the youth, KFYR decided not to use a name of the student quote in this story. 

The director said 78 percent of the students that came into Marmot last year were either a half, or a full grade below where they should be. But the teachers work hard to get them caught up.

This student found his passion in auto mechanics and says he loves getting dirty and learning about cars. He's proud to be able to get his GED and plans to go to college.

But that passion wasn't always there.

"Unfortunately I had a lot of hatred, you know. I just didn't want to be here. You know, I thought, I, it was wrong from me being out here. But then later on in my treatment I figured out this is the best place for me," says a youth center student.

He says YCC helped him become more confident in himself and take pride in his work.

"I've grown as a person and I've bettered myself since coming out here," says the student.

Last year more than 250 students, from sixth to 12th grade, came to the correctional facility. Nine finished their high school diploma and 33 received their GED.

"We have to believe that they're worth the effort. And if they're not worth the effort what are we doing? And these kids aren't coming form Mars. They're coming from your schools and your communities," says Marmot director Penny Veit-Hetletved. 

YCC serves more than 160 school districts in North Dakota and other states.

"First thing we need to do to help those students is be firm, fair and consistent with all of our rules with no explanation. So that they know how to make better choices and what happens when they don't make the choice," says Veit-Hetletved.

"What makes it different here is because we are gonna tailor everything to your needs. We assess you on entry," says Marmot principal Michelle Hoechst.

Some instructors teach multiple subjects and offer students college and career ready courses preparing their to continue their education.

The principal says students have tough days sometimes, but each teacher understands that communication is key.

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