ST. CLOUD -- A new pilot program in Stearns County will work to help troubled kids find their way out of the juvenile detention system and work toward graduating high school.

The county is partnering with District 742 on the McKinley Career Academy Program. It's a multi-faceted after-school program to help kids become productive members of society.

The program will pair kids with business mentors, include field trips, help with school credit recovery, community service and health and nutrition education.

Stearns County Juvenile Services Supervisor Greg Boelter says they are looking for alternatives to out-of-home placement which is expensive and detrimental to families. He estimates it will cost approximately $31-per-day for each student to participate, which is far less than a juvenile detention center.

Boelter says they've identified about 60 kids who will be eligible for the program. It is voluntary and the students will have to apply by writing an essay seeking entrance. The McKinley Alternative Learning Center in Waite Park will house the program.