Improving Life Skills and Employment Potential For Our Nation’s Youth

  • Program Goal: Through military-based training, significantly improve life skills and employment potential of youth who cease to attend secondary school before graduating.

  • Mission: The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, a preventive rather than remedial “youth at risk” program, targets unemployed, drug-free, high school dropouts, 16-18 years of age. Core components of the program are citizenship, academic excellence (GED/high school diploma), life-coping skills, service to community, health and hygiene, job skills training, leadership/followership, and physical training.

  • Participating States and U.S. Territories: Alaska, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

  • Eligibility/Selection: Participants must be: 1) a volunteer 2) 16-18 years-old 3) high school dropout of at least one month prior to application 4) citizen or legal resident of the United States and resident of the state where the program is conducted 5) unemployed 6) drug free 7) not on parole or probation, not indicted or charged, and free of felony convictions or capital offenses 8) physically and mentally capable of completing the program with reasonable accommodation for physical or other handicaps. Eligible youth must apply, be nominated by a member of the local community and selected by a state-appointed committee. 

What to Expect at Battle Born Youth ChalleNGe Academy


  •  A five and a half month residential phase is followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with specially trained mentors from each youth’s community

Core Components

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


• A comprehensive support package, from
appropriate clothing to residential training
facilities, is provided to adequately support
the program


• Meets or exceeds national mentoring
standards established by the National
Mentoring Partnership

• These standards encompass mentor
recruiting, screening, training, matching,
monitoring and support


Lauren C. Schulman
Program Director
Lisa R. Williams
Program Coordinator