CASY's mission with the NGB Youth ChalleNGe Academies is to build sustainable educational/business partnerships while introducing students to careers in their communities. These partnerships contribute to workforce and economic development by motivating cadets to develop solid work habits required to succeed in school and in their future careers.


In 1993, the Center for Strategic and International Studies published a study entitled, “Forging a Military Youth Corps.” That same year, Congress, acting upon the studies recommendations, provided funding in the 1993 Defense Authorization Act for the National Guard Bureau to conduct a pilot youth intervention program. The purpose of this pilot program was to determine if life coping skills and employability of a high school dropout could be significantly improved through participation in a life skills program using a military model.

Fifteen states became operational during the first five-year pilot period and currently 41 Youth Challenge Programs are operating among 32 states and territories.

Where traditional educational methods have failed, the ChalleNGe Academy has succeeded and proved to be a tremendous alternative for young people who have the ability to excel, but need an intensive, structured environment.

The graduates of ChalleNGe Academies are disciplined and accomplished. They are on the road to becoming successful and contributing members of society and their community. ChalleNGe cadets are the investment in the future of our communities. The cost to society without this program could be much greater if our youth are lost to unemployment, welfare, drugs, gangs or the judicial system. Current federal legislation provides a full time commitment to the Youth ChalleNGe Programs across the nation.

Core Objectives:

The 8-core objectives are the goals established by the National Guard Bureau as the criteria for each cadet attending a Youth Challenge Program. These core objectives are as follows:

A youth attending a Challenge Program must achieve 80% of each objective's criteria, and he/she must complete all eight objectives before graduating from the Resident Phase and moving into the Post Resident Phase.

These objectives are taught during the 200 hours of classroom instruction and during daily activities. Cadets also attend classes for computer literacy to become familiar with current computer programs.

The ChalleNGe Academies are run by state employees and contractors, many with a military background, including traditional members of the National Guard and retired military personnel. All instructors are certified teachers, and program counselors are qualified and experienced professionals.

Fact Sheet:

National Guard Youth ChaleNGe Program Fact Sheet

Youth ChalleNGe Cadets Register For Services Here