The Discovery ChalleNGe Academy is accepting applications from at-risk teens to join the military-style residential program’s inaugural class. The free program serves students 16 to 18 years old who have dropped out of high school, are at-risk of dropping out, or are credit deficient.
The new academy is offered through a partnership of the California National Guard and the San Joaquin County Office of Education. When the program opens in January, it will be the third National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program in the state and the first in Northern California.
The academy offers a highly structured environment that promotes leadership, cooperation, and academic skills, while building self-esteem, pride, and confidence. It is located at the Sharpe Army Depot in Lathrop and open to teens in all of Northern California.
Applicants must commit to complete the voluntary program, which includes a 22-week residential phase followed by a 12-month post-residential phase. Once accepted into the program, cadets are introduced to the military structure, participate in team-building activities, practice making healthy choices, attend school daily, gain organizational and study skills, participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and receive the support they need to turn their lives around. Cadets also engage in community service that will bring benefits to the wider community.