The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, a preventive rather than remedial at-risk youth program, targets participants who are unemployed, drug-free and law-free high-school dropouts, 16 to 18 years of age.


The mission of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year old high school dropouts, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.

Core Components

The 22-week Residential Phase is followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with a specially trained member from each youth’s community.

The eight core components of the program are:

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


The Program

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is a community-based program that leads, trains and mentors 16-18 year old high school dropouts so that they may become productive citizens in America’s future.

This award-winning program has been recognized as one of the nation’s most effective and cost efficient programs for targeting youth who are at the greatest risk for substance abuse, teen pregnancy, delinquency, and criminal activity.

Youth ChalleNGe Program Success

  • 59% of 2012 ChalleNGe graduates received their high school diploma or GED.
  • 45% joined the workforce.
  • 41% continued their education.
  • 7% joined the military.
  • Program participants have donated nearly 8 million hours of community service during the program’s 16-year duration.
  • Programs have awarded graduates nearly 69,500 academic credentials.
  • Over 113,000 teens have graduated.


States With Youth ChalleNGe Programs:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.