Cadet Angel Kay LeMaster

"I didn't come here for my mom or dad" 00:55

Angel LeMaster never had a stable home. Growing up, she said, she moved around Southern California. Her parent split up when she was young. When she lived with her mother, they were "homeless pretty much, sleeping in cars, freeways, hotels all the time."

Cadet Angel Kay LeMaster at Sunburst Youth Academy CBS News

"So I got up and left and never looked back," she said. "I was always homeless, on my own, my entire teenage life. Caused me to drop out."

LeMaster, 17, is now one of the cadets at Sunburst Youth Academy that CBS News has been following throughout their time in the program.

"I didn't come here for my mom or dad," she said. "I don't need to prove anything to anyone but myself. So if I can do this - because this is hardcore - if I can do this, then I can leave here and do what I need to get done."