Devil Pups Informational Meeting

May 13, 2019 Veteran Support

By: Megan Way | Photos by Su Phelps and Lawrence Oravetz
Why would teenagers spend 10 days of their summer vacation going through what would be the toughest camp of their lives? Founder and CEO of Youth Leadership Authority (YLA) Marie Tomao, along with her gradated “Eagles” both tell teenagers and their parents why they should be interested in the Devil Pups Program.
Marie Tomao hosted an informational meeting to kick off their biggest program of the year, Southern Nevada Devil Pups by showing what the program offers for teens families and educators alike. So what is the Devil Pups program?
The boys and girls spend the 10 days at Camp Pendleton, a real U.S. Marine Corps base in California. From their own website they say, “The program is not a ‘mini boot camp’, para-military or recruiting organization for the Marine Corps. Devil Pups is a camp comprising 10 days of challenge, teamwork, discipline and education for boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 17.”
The results of the program show long after, “We have had much success in this for the past 15 years’ with our stats as follows: 82% of our graduates attending college, 35% move forward with one of the military branches and 25% as a first responder!”
Still little skeptical? Here are just some of the testimonials from the Eagles at the meeting, (Eagles are graduated Devil Pups who came back to the program a second time as a helper and mentor to the Pups),
“Before the program, I would shape a lot of my decisions based on my failures. I would focus on where I failed as a leader, where I failed as a person and I would beat myself up over that… What you learn through the program helps gain control over yourself and to push yourself to the place you wanna go.”
“What I love about this program is that it taught me to overcome my fears and push past my boundaries… When I first started this program, I was one of the weakest ones there but after the encampment I’ve saw major improvements, I’ve seen how you can grow.”
Sponsors for the Devil Pups: Senator Harry Reid, Congressman Joe Heck, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, Senator John Ensign, BCPD, LVMPD and HPD PPA’s, SW Gas Corporation, MGM Corporation, Black Mountain and Greater Nevada Marine Corps Leagues, American Legion Post 40, The Devil Dogs, and Attorney’s John Turco & Draskovich, Craig Mueller, Michael Moray, Mayor of Henderson Debra March and Marie Tomao, Founder and CEO Youth Leadership Authority (YLA)
The Devil Pups program is really good program for the youth and is extremely beneficial to our community, if you’re interested now, for more information go to
About Devil Pups: Youth Leadership Authority (YLA) is a proactive boutique nonprofit 501 c3 that promotes, family stability, youth employment – high-school completion programs, skills-training, first-time employment, internship, and mentoring. We are a highly impactful small organization with a
proven record of results. We strive to develop in young men and women, ages 14 to 17, qualities of good citizenship, self-control, confidence, personal discipline, teamwork and respect for others, their family and their country. If you’re interested in this program go to for more information

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