Frequently Asked Questions:
Applicants must be academically at-risk, a high school dropout, or have been expelled. Applicants must be between 16-18 years old by the start of the academy's academic cycle. Additionally, the applicant must have never been convicted of a felony and have no legal action pending, be willing to become/stay drug & tobacco free, and physically and mentally able to complete the program.
Visit our "Resources For" tab in the upper right-hand corner for specific eligibility details.
The Georgia Youth ChalleNGe Program operates three academies across the State of Georgia. Locations include Fort Stewart (near Savannah), Fort Gordon (near Augusta), and Job Challenge Academy is also located at Fort Stewart.
To learn more about our three academies, click HERE.
There are four classes held each year; two per academy.
Fort Stewart YCA classes start in January and July of each year.
Fort Gordon YCA classes start in April and October of each year.
Our program is FREE to attend; however, there are minimal costs associated with the initial packing list. Packing list items will be sent to accepted applicants.
The Department of Defense (DoD) and the State of Georgia split the ~$17,500 cost-per-cadet through a 75%/25% arrangement between the Federal and State governments. Your tax dollars support our program!
No. The Georgia Youth ChalleNGe Program is an alternative education program who uses the military-model to shape its values and discipline structure. Additionally, Youth ChalleNGe is not a therapeutic environment or a clinical treatment facility. Youth ChalleNGe is a residential program run by the Georgia National Guard that provides a "Second Chance" to young people who want to change their lives.
No. This program is 100% voluntary. No parent, court, judge or probation officer can force the child to attend Youth ChalleNGe. The decision to attend must be made by the child and his/her parents or guardian.
Yes, although we do have a disciplinary system that is able to resolve the majority of minor infractions, cadets can be expelled if they do not cooperate with academy rules. Cadets who no longer wish to participate voluntarily may request to quit the academy. Parents/Guardians and staff members are notified to determine why the cadet wishes to quit. Staff will conduct a process of interviews, and if no solution can be reached to change the cadet's mind, then the cadet will be granted a withdrawal from the academy.
On a case by case basis, a cadet who withdrawals from one of our academies, but wishes to try again, may reapply to attend a future class cycle. Note: the cadet must still be between the ages of 16-18 to reapply.
Yes; those cadets who express an interest in joining the military will have the opportunity to learn more about the various military branches and speak with local area military recruiters. Only about 7% of our program graduates enter the military.
All cadets are required to take the ASVAB (military entrance exam) as part of their Job Skills core component. There is NO military service obligation after attending our program.
Yes; Cadets will attend a series of academic classes designed to improve their math and reading levels. Many of our cadets are able to obtain their GED during the 5 1/2-month Residential Phase, but is not required to graduate from our program.
For those cadets who wish to continue working toward their High School diploma, the Georgia Youth ChalleNGe Program works in partnership with Foothills Education Charter High School (http://www.foothillscharter.org) so that eligible and qualified cadets can obtain their high school diploma or earn high school credit that they can transfer back to their previous high school. This is a great way for cadets to return back to their previous high school and become academically aligned with their classmates.
Visitation is not authorized currently during this current COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the possibility of infection. The cadets will remain on campus for the complete program period. No cadet home passes will be granted.
Parents/Guardians are able to communicate with their child through letters. After the first two weeks, cadets will be able to make phone calls once a week. Phone privileges are only granted to those cadets who are compliant with the academy rules and leadership.
Parents/Guardians are also able to send an e-mail message to their child through the "Message a Cadet" feature on each academy's main page.
Yes; all cadets will be drug tested while attending a Youth ChalleNGe Academy. Additionally, all Academies are tobacco and alcohol free facilities.
Yes. All cadets will be drug tested while attending a Youth ChalleNGe Academy. Additionally, all Academies are tobacco and alcohol free facilities.
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Still have questions about our program?
Send us a message here, or call 1-800-278-2233 to speak with a program recruiter.