Fort Gordon - Who We Are

The Fort Gordon Youth ChalleNGe Academy is a tough, demanding, no-nonsense approach to your future success!

The purpose of the Youth ChalleNGe Academy is to provide "at-risk" youth with Academic and Life Skills training aimed at improving employment potential and creating productive citizens.

The Youth ChalleNGe Academy at Fort Gordon is located in Brems Barracks on Fort Gordon, near Augusta, Georgia. It services students from around the State of Georgia and accepts applications year round. Classes begin twice each year, in March and in September, and are continuous for 5 1/2 months. Following the residential phase of the program, the students must complete the 12 month post-residential phase in order to successfully complete the Youth ChalleNGe Program. The Fort Gordon Youth ChalleNGe Academy graduates approximately 425 students each year.

Mission and Vision

Mission: The mission of the Georgia National Guard 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 excel as adults.

Vision: The Georgia National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is the premiere residential alternative education provider; developing and producing academically and socially competitive young adults who believe they can achieve their dreams.

Our Program

Academic Excellence
Physical Fitness
Responsible Citizenship
Job Skills
Service to the Community
Health and Hygiene
Life-Coping Skills

Must be at least 16 years old, but not yet 19 Must withdraw from school
Must be unemployed or Underemployed Must be free of illegal drugs
Must be free from involvement in the legal/court system
Must be a citizen or legal resident of the State of Georgia

Submit completed application w / required documents
Complete the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and submit scores
Be chosen by State Selection Committee
Attend a one-day orientation program
Be physically and mentally fit
Must have a mentor

Questions & Answers

Is there a cost to the cadet?

Parents are not required to pay tuition for the program. There are some OPTIONAL costs that may occur during the residential phase (i.e. Class BDU and platoon Pictures, cap and gown pictures, class ring etc.). These costs are OPTIONAL for the family.

Can I make my child attend the Youth Challenge Academy?

No. The Youth ChalleNGe Academy is strictly a voluntary program. Your child must have a desire to attend.

Do cadets get to go home?

Yes. Cadets get two passes during the residential phase of the program. These passes are mandatory because the academy will be closed during the passes.

Can I come visit my cadet?

We have one scheduled ?Family Day? where the family can come and visit. Mentors can arrange to visit their Cadet twice a month once a background check has been done, and the Mentor has attended training. Emergencies will be handled on a case by case basis.

What ages do you accept?

Applicants must be at least 16 years old and no more than 18 years old (the applicant can turn 19 years old before graduation day).

Can I get my GED while at the program?

Yes, but in order to earn a GED, the cadet must pass all the required GED tests. Attending the Youth ChalleNGe Academy does NOT guarantee that the cadet will earn either a GED or High School Diploma.

Can I get a High School diploma?

Yes, but in order to earn a high school diploma, the cadets are carefully screened to determine if a cadet meets the qualifications to participate in the program. To be considered for the High School Diploma, student transcripts are carefully screened to determine if they meet the initial criteria:
*Classified as a high school Junior * Has earned 16-16.5 high school credits * Has completed and passed at least 2 courses in each of the core content areas * Has taken and passed exams such as EOCTs, GHSWT exam

Can I enroll in college with a GED?

With a GED you have the ability to enroll in Community or Technical College. The majority of four year colleges will accept students as a transfer student from a two year community or technical college.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is the presence of a caring responsible adult who, along with the guardian or parent, provides support, motivation, guidance, advice and friendship in order to help a young person succeed with their life goals.

Once I become a mentor how do I begin contact with my mentee?

Prospective mentors can start writing to their mentees immediately starting day one.

Can I tour the academy?

Yes tours of the academy are given on a regular basis. Please call the Academy at 706-823-8000 to schedule a tour.

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