WEBCC Cadets

About the Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps

Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps, (WEBCC) is a not-for-profit community based youth organization established January of 2011, its mission is to enhance the quality of life and expand the opportunities of young men and women to achieve life-long success through formal and informal education, mentoring programs for  our youth in the Greater New York area.  It is the goal of the program to form partnerships with local school districts and the juvenile court system and other like mind organizations to tackle the crisis that our youth of today have been facing.  WEBCC has fostered a commitment to young people and will promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and reassert a sense of hope for their future. Only through personal relationships can a sense of individual responsibility be reestablished, that will give our youth the commitment to follow through on a path to adulthood with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Through repeated failures in the classroom and the development of destructive habits, at-risk young people have lost faith in the possibilities that await them if they are successful in putting their lives together. To accomplish this goal, young people must be in a caring, inclusive learning environment that promotes their best effort and reinforces personal respect.

Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of young people that will either fall through the cracks at school or are already entangled with the juvenile court system. The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going to have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer a positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. The focus is slightly different at each level but the goal remains the same; empower the young person to make positive changes in his/her life. 

We are dedicated to various issues aimed at promoting the rights and well being of our youth.  Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps realized the potential of the inner-city youth to build healthier and safer communities.  Our programs are based on the belief that our youth represent a valuable, untapped resource and can significantly contribute to the rejuvenation of neighborhoods and the community as a hold. 

Our project is for all youth, but our focus will be on the at risk youth, when we observe our youth of today, what do we think about, what do we see? Youth being disrespectful, not going to school, pants sagging almost to their knees:  Or do we see our youth as individuals who are looking to become productive members of society.  The Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps is committed to our youth; we aim to improve the changes of our youth/cadets to succeed in life, and become responsible, resilient, productive resourceful citizens prepared for success.

For My People Empowerment Inc. was the sponsoring agency for the Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps since their start, we were covered under For My People Empowerment, Inc. 501(c)(3) exemption and also added the Cadet Corps under their insurance policy.  As of August 2013 the Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet has received their Federal Exemption and State Exemption.  We have continued our working relationship with For My People Empowerment who provides Emergency Preparedness training to all the youth within the Corps.

Mission & Objectives

Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps is committed to improving the chances of our youth to succeed in life, become nurture responsible, resilient and producing resourceful cadets that will become successful citizens.  By providing core values, exemplifying loyalty and character development.  Over time, WEBCC will create a learning environment that will be an invaluable resource to young people, aspiring mentors and the community at large.

Cadets and their leaders are committed to attaining the program’s core values:

Loyalty – the expression of our dedication to the ideals of the Cadet Movement and all its members.  Loyalty and love for country must be deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of all cadets; these are imbued in the cadets by way of their commitment to serve the corps through maintenance of high discipline and training standards.

Professionalism– exemplary conduct together with strong moral strength to differentiate right from wrong; honesty and trustfulness to accomplish tasks with pride and diligence.

Leadership – role modeling and influencing fellow-cadets to aspire to their highest potential both academically and in WEBCC training and activities, leadership by example and through involvement with peers and subordinates.

Mutual Respect – genuine concern for the well being of fellow cadets during and outside training; this care and concern will facilitate esprit de corps and maintain a high level of morale and cohesiveness in the WEBCC.

Adventurous Spirit – the spirit, daring and passion to venture into the unknown, and explore the undiscovered and unchallenged realms; this adventurous spirit would widen the perspective and outlook of our cadets.

Integrity – the courage and commitment to exemplify trust sincerity and honesty.

The Cadet Corps was founded in 1946 by Wilbert E. Burgie and reactivated and incorporated in 2011 by a dedicated group of former members of Camp Minisink and the Minisink Cadet Corps.  These individuals still believe that our youth of today needs to be encouraged; provided leadership, build self-confidence, self esteem and to provide effective training opportunities for our experienced and emerging youth.

The Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps asked the community if they were ready for the challenge because we are looking to produce tomorrow’s leaders today.  The challenge was accepted by the community and the management of Co-op City and hence the rebirth, of the Cadet Corp.

The Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps program is for young boys and girls ages 8 – 24 who are interested in participating in a variety of challenging and rewarding activities.

Keys to Success

  • Establish a strong network of support with the school systems, the juvenile court system and other like mind community based organizations
  • Launch a series of fundraising activities that will successfully fund the expanding program.
  • Establish an effective training program for mentors that will increase their ability to be successful communicators.
  • Establish an effective monitoring system to protect both the youth and the mentor.

Our youth will be matched with a caring adult volunteer who is trained to focus on positive reinforcement, trust-building, and the achievement of goals, by engaging youth in one-on one outing and group adventures in the community.

Ongoing training will continue with mentors on individual case management throughout the year.


The goal of the Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps is to:

  • To develop in youth attributes of good citizenship and leadership
  • To promote physical fitness
  • To stimulate the interest of youth to give back to their community
  • To teach the importance of education, teamwork and cooperation
  • Emergency Preparedness Training

The Cadets are encouraged to become active, responsible members of their communities.  They learn valuable life and work skills like teamwork, leadership, and citizenship.  The Cadets also reap the personal benefits of increased self-confidence, physical fitness, learning how to take initiative, and how to make decisions.  The Cadets make a valuable contribution to the New York communities on a daily basis in terms of environmental, citizenship and community activities.

It has been suggested that the cadet corps is preparation our youth for a career in the military, but it is really about preparing for life; about developing the skills, the qualities and the confidence that will allow these young people to prosper and contribute to society not only now but in the future.


One of the reasons that youth participate in the Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corp is because of the rewards.  The trophies and plaques often represent the deeper personal satisfaction they get:

  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Recognition from their peers and mentors
  • Once in a life time experiences
  • Life-long friends
  • A chance to showcase their talents and maturity
  • Self-confidence, self-discipline, self-esteem and increased self-awareness
  • Community involvement
  • Cadets also get other rewards out of the program
  • Lots of FUN activities
  • Chance to travel nationally and internationally
  • Summer employment
  • Scholarships and bursaries
  • School credits for participation
  • The learning of new skills

Cadet leaders encourage all cadets to incorporate these goals into their daily lives.  The Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corp has succeeded in producing responsible, active and engaged members of society when cadets embrace these important principles into their lives.

Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of young people that are either falling through the cracks at school or are already entangled with the juvenile court system.  The Corps offers at-risk youth the opportunity to make a dramatic change in their lives.  The program is positioned to be most assessable to young people who otherwise would be swept into the juvenile court system or frequent school detention.

The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives.  The focus is slightly different at each level.  At the elementary school level, mentors strive to guide the young person back into the mainstream of class activity in order to destroy the negative reinforces that can turn a student off to school.  With middle school students, Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps will provide mentors that serve as developmental role models for young people looking for direction.  Sometimes it is as easy as a young person identifying with his mentor rather than a person involved in criminal or destructive activities.  Once a student has entered high school with a history of classroom disturbances and poor academic skills, it takes a tremendous proactive effort to assist a student in redirecting their lives.   We have found that group activities can service as a powerful reinforce of hopeful behavior.

Currently, middle school youth’s disturbances the majority of students being served by Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps.  Elementary children represent a critical group as they progress through school.  Children between the ages of 5 to 11 disturbances close to 40% of the children attending New York public schools.  It is projected that within three years, 50% of the system's students will be in middle school. 

Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps has a number of market focuses that are key to the program's success.

  • Youth who are overcoming stressors in their lives, such as poverty, discrimination, abusive situations, addictions, unstable homes, and academic life, are the primary marketing focus of the corp. Mentoring programs foster positive changes through goal setting, self-discipline, skill development, and friendship.
  • Families are also the marketing focus when adult mentors are able to help youth work on solutions for their family stresses, and provide an objective but caring sounding board. As a result, many youth and their families report improved relations at home. Families must buy into the benefit from our United Parenting program, a 10-month series of custom-designed information and discussion groups that enrich parenting effectiveness, especially in the area of cognitive skills associated with family management practices.
  • Marketing also attracts mentors to the Cadet Corp because they care about kids and their community. The typical mentor-youth relationship demands a commitment that must be sold to the potential mentor. For most mentors, this experience changes their lives, taps their inner resources, and challenges their convictions and beliefs.
  • Ultimately, WEBCC is marketed to New York as a critical social support system young people. WEBCC impacts how many other city services will be called in to respond to destructive behavior in the community.

The target market of WEBCC are young people ages 8 to 16 that  have developed destructive habits that will lead down a path of hopelessness.  WEBCC has created a series of mentoring programs that pair the young person with a trained mentor who will assist him or her in developing the habits and perspective that will lead to success and hopefulness in the future.

There are three focuses to WEBCC’s program implementation:

  • First is the creation of a network of contacts with New York School System, the county's juvenile court system and other not-for-profit organizations.
  • The second is the recruiting and training of mentors.
  • The third is the development of fundraising strategies.

WEBCC’s management team will consist of the Board of Directors and the program's executive director.   A team of professional program and fundraising managers will be assembled to manage and grow the program.


Since the reactivation of the Cadet Corp we have been very busy, we have taken our cadets to Washington, DC to attend the Omega Phi Psi Fraternity Inc. 100th Centennial Conclave “Salute to the Military Gala,” where the cadets were able to meet and speak with some of the country’s top military officials such as William E. “Kip” Ward, US Army Four Star General, former Commander United States Army, Africa Command; Manson K. Brown, Vice Admiral, Commander Pacific Area, United States Cost Guard; Charles F. Bolden, current Administrator of NASA, he is a retired US Marine Corps Major General and former NASA Astronaut/Space Shuttle Commander, Major General Willie Arnold, former Commander United States Army Officer Training Command (ROTC) and Earl Graves, President and owner of Black Enterprise.  Our cadets also met a long list of other dignitaries that attended the event. 

When we first arrived in Washington our cadets had the opportunity to meet and interview the then Presidential Candidate Herman Cain this interview was aired on a Washington, DC local television station.  This was a life changing moment for all of our youth and their parents’ who attended.

The WEBCC performed at the National Night Out Against Crime with the 47th Police Precinct, went to the annual Reunion of the Minisink Cadet Corps and to top it off spent a week up state at the original site of Camp Minisink in Port Jervis, New York with the Minisink Spirit.

The WEBCC youth was awarded with Certification of Appreciations from both the New York State Assembly and the Bronx Borough Presidents office for the Community Service.  The Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps has the full support of Congressmen Joseph Crowley who has given us financial support and letters of reference.

We have networked with a number of people and organizations over the years and as a result we are working to open up a Drum & Bugle Corp in the South Bronx and addition Cadets Corps in a number of NYCHA building in the South Bronx and the Northeast section of the Bronx.

A number of Cadets have successfully applied and was accepted into colleges all across the country.  One of which was accepted into Stanford University where she will one day become a doctor.  The other was accepted into a SUNY University where she will become a Criminologist.  Our only male cadet will apply to the Naval Academy next year because of the experience spent with the Omega’s in Washington, DC.

The Wilbert E. Burgie Cadet Corps started with 35 youth, right now our numbers are small, but when the original Minisink Cadet Corps started Wilbert Burgie had only nine boys and the numbers rose to over 10,000 cadets over its twenty or more years span before its deactivation.   We believe that this is a much needed program

In August 2015 we will be taking our youth to the to the original Camp Minisink located in Port Jervis, NY, we expect to take approximately 100 – 200 youth for 11 days to experience a camping “Extravaganza” of a life time, where they can enjoy mountain climbing, cook outs, zip line, the blob, etc., this experience will be a life changing adventure for our youth.  Our program provides a value based program that is filled with enriching, uplifting and will provide challenging activities/experience that will provide an atmosphere that will encourage, teach leadership and teach preservation of the environment.

WEBCC is different from other leadership programs, in that, we are a small not-for-profit program that does not receive any government or grant assistance.  Our primary revenue comes for our financial conduit For My People Empowerment, Inc., our board of directors and donations received from generous individuals and organization.  These funds only cover basis expenses.

Respectfully Submitted


Brenda M. Francis

Chief Operating Officer (BOD)