State National Guard opens program to help youth to earn their high school diploma

Published 12:09 pm Monday, February 28, 2022

In just 22 weeks you can earn your high school diploma.

The Mississippi National Guard is now taking applications for the Mississippi Youth ChalleNGe Academy, a Premier Alternative Education Program designed for 16 to 18-year-olds who are struggling in school or no longer attend. The program accepts both female and male applicants.

Located at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, students begin the Residential Phase which focuses on job training, social skills, and self-discipline to meet the needs of today’s youth. According to program officials, the courses are designed to mold the entire person. ChalleNGe also offers college classes through a local university.

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The ChalleNGe program has graduated 55 classes for a total of 10623 graduates to date with two graduating classes per year. The upcoming cohort, Class 57, starts July 16, 2022.

The Post Residential Phase is the one-year period following graduation from the Residential Phase.  The Post Residential Plan calls for the assignment of a mentor to provide advice and assistance, regular monitoring of the graduate’s status, progress in obtaining employment and/or pursuing further education, and providing support within the means of the program.

According to YCA, their students have had ACT scholarships and Community College scholarship recipients in every graduating class.  Many others were college bound using grant or parental assistance, and a few entered civilian and military employment.

The program boasts a 97.6% success rate of graduates either entering college, the workforce or the military.

For an application or more information, call 1-800-507-6253 or visit the website at