NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Posing for a selfie, Dyllan Metcalf is thankful to have his mentor Bill Burley in his life. 

“We clicked as soon as we met,” Metcalf said. 

The 17-year-old just graduated from the Arkansas National Guard Youth Challenge. It’s a five and a half months long education program based off a military structure. 

“I was ‘voluntold’ to come here, but since I’ve been here I feel like I was destine to come here,”” 
 Metcalf said. 

He credits the program for drastically changing his life. 

“I didn’t really take life as serious as I should have. I was just going down a bad road,” Metcalf said. “ 

Burley was also a huge part in helping him get on the straight and narrow. 

“When I first met him, I told him, and I meant it, with what he’s doing by choosing to come to this program, he earned my respect right off the bat for even being here,” Burley said. 

Even though they are two generations apart, that age difference makes their bond much more special. 

“I enjoy the fact that we’re far apart in age, but we still have so much we can talk about. He likes to tell his stories and he likes to listen to mine, so I think we’re the perfect match there,” Burley said. 

Their mentor/mentee relationship is now encouraging Metcalf to give back. 

“I may be 17, but I feel I’m a leader, so I have leadership skills, so I should put on an example for other youth,” he said. 

The Youth Challenge is currently recruiting mentors. If you’re interested, click here.