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BOISE -- A brand new academy for struggling teenagers opened its doors to its first ever class Monday.

We first told you about the Idaho Youth Challenge Academy in a special report last year.

It is a tuition-free school for boys and girls between 16 and 18 years old who have dropped out of school, or are in danger of dropping out.

We expect this program to directly affect the lives of those who complete the 22-week course by helping them become productive members of society and steering them away from a downward spiral, said Maj. General Gary Sayler, Idaho Adjutant General. Sayler was on hand to oversee the first day of the program.

It's located in the town of Pierce in north-central Idaho.

The first class has 96 students, including 15 girls. The academy can take as many as 146 teens.

Over 27 states now have Youth Challenge programs.

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