At-risk Youth Receive a Second Change at High School Diploma at New Jersey Youth ChalleNGe Academy

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The New Jersey Youth ChalleNGe Academy gives at-risk youth a second chance at receiving their high school diploma. Sponsored by the National Guard Bureau and the state of New Jersey, this award winning Academy provides a structured environment fulfilling youth’s need to seek control of their world and gain the respect of others.

Located on the Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst, the NJYCA consists of a 5 ½-month in residence phase, followed by a 12-month post residential phase. The Academy is regulated using the foundations of the military, i.e. principles, values, discipline & structure. We focus on academics, leadership development, physical training, and personal growth. The Cadets gain a strong sense of community through responsible citizenship and service to community projects. Cadets with the desire and discipline develop self-management skills promoting prospects for a brighter future.

There are 3 phases of the Youth Challenge Academy. The first phase is the acclimation phase for candidates to adjust to the physical, mental, and social discipline of the program. After they are acclimated, they become cadets and begin the second phase that is a strict classroom routine geared to the five core subjects: social studies, math, writing, science, and reading. At the end of the five months, the cadets will have the opportunity to take the GED, and if they pass the exam, they will receive their high school diploma.

The 12-month period after graduation is the Post-Residential Phase. Cadets return to their communities to be productive citizens. Reporting monthly to the academy, cadets keep us updated as they pursue their goals. Graduates from the Academy usually either go on to college, join the workforce, or join the military.

The program services the entire state of New Jersey, and the program is tuition free. We accept a wide range of students, with the requirements being that they must be 16-18 years of age, a citizen of the US and residents of New Jersey and have health insurance. The program requires students to be free of any legal obligations upon entrance.

We are now accepting applications for our next class which starts on October 2, 2017.