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Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy

A student talks with his mentor about his plans after the residential phase

In June 2003, a total of 88% of the graduating class of the Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy received a high school diploma or a GED. The Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy is a volunteer program for at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 18. Currently, there are over 500 applications for the January 2004 term, but only space for 150 students per term.

The residential phase of the program is
5 ½ months. During that time, students complete academic classes along with life skills, job skills, leadership, health, citizenship, and physical fitness classes. Once the students graduate from the residential phase, they remain in close contact for at least one year with mentors they were paired with during that time.

The success of the Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy can be attributed to a devoted staff. This starts at the top with visionary leadership and continues throughout the entire Academy. The staff members view their job as a mission with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the young people in Florida.

Students learn skills to earn their high school diploma or GED

The training the staff has received and continues to receive has given the Academy the ability to consistently improve in its mission of assisting at-risk youth in becoming successful, productive citizens.

The Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the State of Florida and is operated through a cooperative agreement between the Florida National Guard Bureau and the Governor of Florida. The program is a collaborative effort between Florida's Departments of Education, Juvenile Justice, and Children and Families and the Clay County School District. Although the program is administered by the Florida National Guard and is a para-military modeled program, there is no military obligation for participation.

For more information on the Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy, visit