New Jersey Youth Challenge Academy
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the New Jersey Youth ChalleNGe Academy. It is our hope to give 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 (Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst), this 5½ month residential (total 17 month) program is structured in a military curriculum. We focus on academics, leadership, development, physical training, and personal growth. The students (cadets as we call them) gain a strong sense of community through responsible citizenship and outreach projects. Students with the desire and discipline develop self-management skills promoting prospects for a brighter future.
Our program is completed in phases. The first two weeks are allotted for candidates to adjust to the physical, mental, and social discipline of the program. After they are acclimated, cadets begin 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 called 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 go on to 2-year and 4-year colleges; they 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 and residents of New Jersey. The program is voluntary, and requires students to be free of any legal obligations upon entrance.