Youth Challenge Program

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The Youth Challenge Program consists of Youth Challenge Academies (known as YCA's) run by the National Guard of the United States. The stated mission of the Youth Challenge Program is "to intervene in and reclaim the lives of at-risk youth to produce program graduates with the values, skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults." The program accepts 16- to 18-year-old male and female high school dropouts who are drug-free and not in trouble with the law. The program lasts for 17½ months. The first 5½ months are part of the quasi-military Residential Phase. The last 12 months are part of the Post-Residential Phase. Most participants will earn their GED or a high school diploma by the end of their Residential Phase.

The program is one of many programs administered by the National Guard Bureau that address leadership, life skills, and physical training.[1]

Core Components[edit]

  • Citizenship
  • Academic excellence (GED/high school diploma attainment)
  • Life-coping skills
  • Service to community
  • Health and hygiene
  • Job skills training
  • Leadership/followership
  • Physical training

Participating states and territories[edit]

The following is a list of states who participate in the Youth Challenge Program. Some states have multiple campuses; for example, Georgia has a YCA at both Ft. Stewart and Ft. Gordon, but both fall under the same state director.

Related Programs by the National Guard[edit]


External links[edit]