Tierney Graduates

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Stacy Parkerson, mother, and grandparents, Margie and Eddie Figueroa, of Pine and Strawberry are proud to announce the graduation of son, Brett Tierney, from the AZ National Guard Youth Program, Project Challenge.

AZPC is an intense five month residency program that consists of everything from boot camp ethics, high school academics, to life, family and job coping skills. Tierney entered July 9 as a Payson High School dropout with no goals, no confidence and no self-worth. He followed friends into ditching school, drinking and smoking, believing that was the answer to finding out who he was. The fighting at home was getting so bad, and he was just so full of hatred toward everyone who truly cared for him. AZPC was an answered prayer.

Tierney graduated Dec. 9, 2006 as a very confident, self-disciplined, self-respecting young man with his GED, college experience and a scholarship from Motorola. From his group, 154 struggling, troubled, 16- to18-year-old boys and girls walked onto the campus in Queen Creek on July 9, and 63 completed the course on Dec. 9 -- 50 with their GED and several with scholarships for all over Arizona. These days it's tough to be a kid and even tougher to be a parent. Seeing Tierney after the five month program, walking tall, smiling so big, believing in himself and his new Band of Brothers, his mother's eyes were full of tears and her heart was full of pride and love.

"I know I did the right thing," she said.

AZPC does not end with the five-month residency. AZPC has a mentor program that continues for 12 months after graduation. Brett and his mentor will stay in contact with each other and AZPC throughout this time. AZPC wants to know how things are going, what goals are met, and if at any time the teens are in danger of falling back into their old ways. Jon Lenzmeier of Payson believes in the program and has dedicated himself to being Tierney's mentor.

For more information about this program, e-mail fizzles406@msn.com.

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