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2001 - Youth Award - 16-18 yrs old - Thunderbird Youth Academy

The testimonials have poured in from state park leaders about the impressive beautification accomplishments of the Thunderbird Youth Academy in Pryor. The cadets of Thunderbird are at-risk youth who get back on the right track, in part by performing community service.

Prior to the spring of 2000, many of the cadets in the program had never been to a state park, but since then they have performed nearly 10,000 hours of valuable services that have ranged from the simple tasks of picking up trash and painting to the more complex ones of building nature habitats and planters.

  Major Steven Tunnel, Director of the Thunderbird Youth Academy accepts the KOB Award of Excellence on August 3, 2001
The esteem-building work has been a winning situation for all involved. The parks have saved thousands of dollars while enjoying visible improvements, park visitors have enjoyed the many additions and upgraded facilities, and the cadets have developed a love of nature and pride in their accomplishments.

A judge noted, “Accomplishing scenic and physical improvements by turning negative behavior into positive is a sure way to reap benefits for the parks and many in the ‘corps’.” THE CADETS OF THE THUNDERBIRD YOUTH ACADEMY ARE GOOD NEWS FOR OKLAHOMA’S STATE PARKS!