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Troubled Teens From Across N.C. Taking Part In Tar Heel Challenge

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — More than 100 school dropouts from across the state are taking on a new challenge. As part of The Tar Heel challenge, many of them made a personal commitment to improve their lives. They say they got their inspiration from the terrorist attacks.

By the eighth grade, Tyler Hux had had enough of school.

"They couldn't tell me what to do. I could tell them what to do," he said.

Now at 18, he has been working for two years. Recently, he found a new passion to make his life richer.

"A lot of people lost their loved ones in that, Sept. 11, it just sort of changed the way I thought about that," he said.

Hux turned to the Tar Heel Challenge for his second chance. The 17-month military style program helps build self-esteem.

During their two weeks at Fort Bragg, particpants learn teamwork and how to trust each other. While every class has successful candidates, instructors say they have noticed some unique differences since the war on terrorism began.

Noah Nunn comes from a military family, but he said he often overlooked the value of a military career Following the events of Sept. 11, he too is now thinking about pursuing one.

"I know I can't change the world, but maybe I can change myself and the people around me at the same time," he said.

Eighty percent of the program's participants go on to get their GED. The Tar Heel Challenge was just recognized nationwide for excellence in mentoring.


Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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