Roanoke cadets graduate Growth Through Opportunity program

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Roanoke police have four new graduates of their Growth Through Opportunity (GTO) program.

The GTO cadet graduation was held at the Roanoke Police Academy Thursday morning.

The program is for young adults with unique challenges to learn job skills and get social experience. According to the police department, each cadet is given a uniform and volunteers at the department for up to 12 hours a week.

Family members of the graduates say the program makes a big difference in their lives.

"So he loves the uniform and he loves to be able to interact with people," said Danyelle Johnson, whose son was part of the GTO program.

"He has come so far in this 16 weeks, being able to interact with all of the first responders. He loves the fire department because he got to cook and help them with washing the vehicles and all that stuff."

What's next for these GTO cadets?
They all will move on to paying jobs at different businesses throughout the community.