ChalleNGe is a residential program that incorporates a highly structured quasi-military format emphasizing self-discipline, personal responsibility, and positive motivation. Students, who are referred to as cadets while at the program, must meet military grooming standards, wear military-type uniforms issued by the program, and observe standard military customs and courtesies. Each class involves a 3-phase program that begins with a two-week Acclimation Phase where the goal is to identify those students that have the desire and discipline to complete the program. Students who successfully complete the Acclimation Phase enter the 20-week ChalleNGe phase where the emphasis is on the “Eight Core Component” curriculum. Cadets must show improvement in each component.

Eight Core Components:

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

After completing the Challenge phase, students begin a 52-week Post-Residential phase where each student works with an adult role model in a one-on-one mentoring relationship. The adult mentor provides the student advice, guidance, and support to help him/her continue the positive direction set forth during the residential phase of the program.

There are no military obligations or expectations for the cadets. The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is not a juvenile detention center; it is not a drug or alcohol treatment center; it is not a professional childcare service; and it is not a hospital, medical, or dental clinic. The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Programs are approved institutions with credentialed teaching staff and trained professional support staff supporting the educational goals and priorities of the Governor and the citizens of each program state.