About the Program
The Tennessee National Guard Volunteer ChalleNGe Academy is a new beginning for those young men and women who need a change.
The mission of the Tennessee Volunteer ChalleNGe Academy is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of at-risk youth and produce program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens of Tennessee.
The Tennessee Volunteer ChalleNGe Academy (TNVCA) will provide a safe and productive quasi-military environment for “at-risk” youth ages 16-18 years who "Volunteer 2 Change!"
To enhance life-coping skills and employability potential of our cadets through a quasi-military environment with discipline, structure, education, service to community and mentoring that will positively impact our cadet’s future. TNVCA will provide the eight-core components during a 22-week residential phase, followed by a 12-month post-residential mentoring phase.
The 8 Core Components
To successfully complete the program, all cadets must master the 8 Core Components of the National Guard Youth Challenge program during the residential phase.
- Academic Excellence: Cadets attend daily classes to increase math and reading comprhension and prepare them for the high school equivalency diploma.
- Life Coping Skills: Cadets learn to identify and self-regulate emotions; identify conflict resolution and anger management strategies, financial management and teamwork.
- Job Skills: Career exploration is accomplished through career assessments and interest inventories and job-specific skills orientations.
- Health and Hygiene: Cadets will understand nutrition basics, substance abuse awareness and positive personal relationships.
- Responsible Citizenship: Cadets discover their role in the democratic process and learn their rights, privileges, and obligations as United States citizens.
- Service to the Community: Cadets realize the value and importance of giving back to the community while performing a minimum of 40 hours of community service.
- Leadership/Followership: Cadets learn to comply with established rules, regulations, and procedures; perform basic military customs and courtesies; and define and identify their leadership skills, traits, dimensions, and components.
- Physical Fitness: Cadets perform physical training based on the President’s ChalleNGe, the Amateur Athletic Union Physical Fitness Program, and the Canada Fitness Award Program.
The ChalleNGe Facts
- A multi-phased intervention program (residential and post-residential)
- Targets high school dropouts or those at risk of dropping out between the ages of 16 & 18
- A structured, disciplined 5 1/2 month Residential Phase focusing on education and practical life skills followed by a 12-month post-residential Phase involving skilled and trained mentors supporting graduates engaged in positive, durable placement
- More than 149,000 graduates nationally have completed the National Guard Youth Challenge programs since 1993
- There are 40 programs in 28 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
The ChalleNGe Model
- Quasi–Military disciplined training combined with educational instruction, experiential learning, and mentoring
- Administered by the Department of Defense and implemented by the National Guard Bureau
- Goal to improve education, life skills, and employment potential of cadets