All About Youth Challenge
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Learn more about South Carolina's Best Kept Secret
South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy can help change their lives. Find out how.
The 6-month program is free of charge, providing an education, structure, and discipline to your child, giving them access to opportunities they would never have thought possible.
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Meet current students enrolled in the program, learn how the program has helped changed their outlook on their future. Find out why South Carolina Youth Challenge it the best choice for your child.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the program free?
The program operates under a federal and state grant.
Can the guardian(s) or parent force their child to come to the program?
No, South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy is a voluntary program.
Does the program accept teens with a criminal background or legal issues?
Yes, acceptance is based on a case-by-case basis. They still go through the same interview process and a decision is reached based on how they interviewed.
How old does a child have to be in order to qualify for the program?
A child must be 16-18 years old is attend the program. They may turn 19 years old while enrolled in the program. They may also be 15 to interview but must turn 16 before enrolling in the program.
Can a high school dropout earn their high school diploma while enrolled in the program?
Yes, only if the child has at least 18 qualified high school credits. However, this is a GED track program and that is our main focus.
How long is the program?
The entire program is 17 months. 6 months for the residential portion and 1 year following graduation, the mentor phase. The mentor the cadet was matched with while enrolled in the program, will continue to mentor the child for that following year, keeping their case managers updated and assisting the child during difficult times.
Why does the program focus on high school dropouts or at-risk teens?
Institute for Educational Leadership, reported that dropouts comprise 52% of welfare recipients, 82% of the prison population, and 85% of juvenile justice cases. Moreover, dropping out of school has been associated with a host of broader negative outcomes, including (a) foregone national income, (b) forgone tax revenues for the support of government services, (c) increased demand for social services, (d) increased crime and antisocial behavior, (e) reduced political participation, (f) reduced intergenerational mobility, and (g) poorer levels of health
Does the child have to be an at-risk youth?
No, some students enroll who are interested in graduating high school early. The program is geared to assisting high school students become successful. Although the target is high school dropouts, we accept students who are looking for discipline and structure.