DEAR ABBY: Although your column is often a trouble-dump, may I share some good news? Our son was a troubled teen with behavioral problems. He dropped out of school and hung out with a very rough crowd. We tried everything we could to steer him in the right direction; nothing worked -- until we found Job Corps. We were thrilled to find an alternative to a boot-camp program. After a rocky start, our son is now succeeding. He is learning to be a welder and is close to getting his high school diploma.
The Job Corps is run by the U.S. Department of Labor and provides education and training for qualified youth, ages 16 through 24. Our son lives in a dorm supervised by counselors. He rises at 5:45 a.m. (a huge adjustment!). He has a structured day -- performing chores, attending academic and job-training classes, and afterward playing basketball or seeing a movie.
Abby, please inform other parents and young adults about the Job Corps. It has been a godsend for our son, and for us. -- PROUD PARENTS IN COLORADO
DEAR PROUD PARENTS: Thousands of young men and women have benefited from Job Corps. I urge anyone interested in Job Corps to call 1-800-733-5627 and speak to a counselor.
Students in Job Corps live and learn in a safe environment -- with "zero tolerance" for violence and drugs.