We continue our look at Kentucky’s Cadet Leadership and Education Program through the eyes of a Perry County teen who says he doesn't want to come home.
15-year-old Vaughn Brock's gotten used to waking up a 5:30am each morning, making his bed and organizing his closet before class. It's a far cry from the two years he spent smoking marijuana and falling behind in school.
“In residential, in my opinion, you're sort of shielded from a lot of things that you have to deal with in everyday life,” says Chris Banks, Youth Service Program Supervisor.
That's why counselors check in frequently with CLEP graduates in the four months after they leave the program, to offer support in saying no to the mistakes of their past, using the skills they learned here.
Some return to camp temporarily if their old environments prove too tough to handle.
It's worked for the majority of 700 boys who've already come through here, but Brock worries he won't make the cut.
When asked “What's the best case scenario when you leave here?” Brock says, “Getting out of Perry County. I have to. I worry if I go back to Perry County. I'll fail.”
Vaughn says if he can't get into vocational school, he's afraid he'll fall back in with the same crowd and start using again.
“It's hard seeing a kid that wants to do well for himself, but just doesn't have everything another kid might have as far as resources,” says Banks.
“I want to do good, but it's hard to do it in a place like that,” says Brock.
Vaughn hopes the understanding and support from the staff will help his new attitude of personal responsibility stick.
Vaughn Brock is set to graduate from Clep in October and says he hopes to live with family in Jackson County.