Commonwealth ChalleNGe

Commonwealth ChalleNGe We are a free educational program for at-risk teens and high school dropouts. Find out more:* Times-Dispatch: http://tinyurl.com/TimesDispatch* ChalleNGe Video: http://tinyurl.com/AboutChallengeApply: https://www.jointservicessupport.org/ngycp
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The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy is a co-educational program for at-risk teens ages 16 to 18 offered free of charge to all participants. This two-part program consists of a 22-week, quasi-military residential phase at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach followed by a 12-month, post-residential phase. During the residential program, cadet studies are centered on the eight components of the program – academics, life-coping skills, work skills, citizenship, leadership/followership, health education, physical fitness and community service – and by the end of the program, cadets will have the opportunity to take the General Educational Development (GED) test. Classes offered during the residential phase focus on preparing the cadet to pass the GED. Candidates must be drug free, between the ages of 16 and 18 and currently living in Virginia.

The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy is a co-educational program for at-risk teens ages 16 to 18 offered free of charge to all participants. This two-part program consists of a 22-week, quasi-military residential phase at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach followed by a 12-month, post-residential phase. During the residential program, cadet studies are centered on the eight components of the program – academics, life-coping skills, work skills, citizenship, leadership/followership, health education, physical fitness and community service – and by the end of the program, cadets will have the opportunity to take the General Educational Development (GED) test. Classes offered during the residential phase focus on preparing the cadet to pass the GED. Candidates must be drug free, between the ages of 16 and 18 and currently living in Virginia.

Mission: To intervene in the lives of 16-18 year old female and male youth by providing the values, skills, education, and self-discipline needed to produce responsible, productive citizens, and to do so in a highly structured learning environment.

Operating as usual

We have reached an awesome milestone today for Class 53. We were able to bring a few cadets on campus to take their GED ...
08/13/2020

We have reached an awesome milestone today for Class 53. We were able to bring a few cadets on campus to take their GED Test. A huge thank you to Ms. Garcia for preparing the testing center to ensure we are following all local, department of military affairs, and CDC guidelines. Ensuring the cadets and staff are wearing masks and social distancing in the testing center. All cadets and staff that come on campus are also required to have a wellness screening including temperature checks when arriving.

Congratulations to Cadet Powell he was promoted to Cadet today.I know each and every Cadet in Class 53 is working hard a...
08/13/2020

Congratulations to Cadet Powell he was promoted to Cadet today.I know each and every Cadet in Class 53 is working hard and pushing through till the end. Keep up the good work.

Good Morning, We are gearing up for Class 54. We are hosting a Virtual Orientation on Friday August 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM....
08/12/2020
Join conversation

Good Morning, We are gearing up for Class 54. We are hosting a Virtual Orientation on Friday August 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM. Please like and share this post with anyone who could benefit from learning more about our program.

https://bit.ly/ccyachallenge

More Great News this morning. Cadet Addison from Class 52 recently joined the United States Marine Corp. He is attending...
08/05/2020

More Great News this morning. Cadet Addison from Class 52 recently joined the United States Marine Corp. He is attending boot camp at Parris Island, SC.

His mother shared some thoughtful words for the staff here at CCYA. Thank you Ms. Addison for entrusting us with your son.

"A very huge thank you to the entire VA Commonwealth Youth Challenge program and his mentor for your support. Please know that each of you will have an everlasting positive impact on his life and the many lives of the youth that you provide assistance and guidance to each every day. God bless you all"

08/04/2020
Cadet Brown taking his Oath of Enlistment

Great News during this difficult time. Join us in Congratulating and encouraging Cadet Michael Brown from Class 52. (Far right in the video) He recently enlisted in the United States Army as a 42A (Human Resources Specialist). He will be shipping to Basic Training at the end of August. #WhatsYourWarrior #usarmy

Congratulations to our Class 53 July Awardees. All of the Cadets have been working so hard and adapting to virtual learn...
07/31/2020

Congratulations to our Class 53 July Awardees. All of the Cadets have been working so hard and adapting to virtual learning with CCYA. Keep up the hard work everyone.

Congratulation to this weeks Candidates who were promoted to Cadet. Please join us in recognizing their hard work.
07/30/2020

Congratulation to this weeks Candidates who were promoted to Cadet. Please join us in recognizing their hard work.

Join us in Congratulating the Candidates that got promoted to Cadet this week. MSG Arvelo shared this quote with the cad...
07/23/2020

Join us in Congratulating the Candidates that got promoted to Cadet this week. MSG Arvelo shared this quote with the cadets this morning. "Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there" Thank you MSG for the motivation.

Join us today in Congratulating 6 more Class 53 Candidates who have been promoted to Cadet. This is an important step in...
07/16/2020

Join us today in Congratulating 6 more Class 53 Candidates who have been promoted to Cadet. This is an important step in the transformation to becoming productive citizens. Great job Cadets keep up the great work.

Please join me in Congratulating these Cadets, they have made the transition from Candidates to Cadets. Class 53 remains...
07/09/2020

Please join me in Congratulating these Cadets, they have made the transition from Candidates to Cadets. Class 53 remains engaged and motivated. Keep up the Great Work!

Great Article done by the Virginia National Guard, we thank you for all your support to the program and our cadet.
07/01/2020
Despite COVID-19, Commonwealth ChalleNGe marches on with ‘Virtual ChalleNGe’ for Class 53

Great Article done by the Virginia National Guard, we thank you for all your support to the program and our cadet.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The COVID-19 pandemic has led the Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy to introduce a “Virtual ChalleNGe,” using video teleconferencing technology for the cadets of Class 53, which began May 18, 2020, with 59 cadets in three platoons. “We would love to get them on campu...

Virtual Class 53 candidates are well on the way to becoming more productive citizens. Each month during the class we tak...
06/30/2020

Virtual Class 53 candidates are well on the way to becoming more productive citizens. Each month during the class we take the opportunity to recognize students who are excelling. Our teachers constantly remind candidates/cadets of how hard it is to select just one student each month. We encourage all cadets to give their best effort everyday.They appreciate all the handwork from all the candidates.Congratulations to all the awardees, Keep up the Great Work!

One of our 8 Core Components is Responsible Citizenship. During the class our awesome social studies teachers teach the ...
06/23/2020

One of our 8 Core Components is Responsible Citizenship. During the class our awesome social studies teachers teach the cadets about civic right and responsibilities. The cadets learn about the democratic process and what it means to vote in an election. They get to participate in an election where they listen to speeches from fellow cadets and cast votes for president, vice president, and secretary. Eligible cadets are also provided assistance registering to vote and for the selective service as part of the process.

In observance of Juneteenth we have cancelled classes for tomorrow, June 19, 2020. Our offices will be closed as well. W...
06/18/2020

In observance of Juneteenth we have cancelled classes for tomorrow, June 19, 2020. Our offices will be closed as well. We would like to encourage everyone to take time to observe and reflect on the meaning of the holiday.

06/11/2020

Today for #throwback Thursday, we jump back to Class 50. This is a video that was done by the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Foundation during a visit to ChalleNGe. #challeNGe2change

Class 53 Families, although we are working in a virtual environment we want you to know we are here to help, please cont...
05/27/2020

Class 53 Families, although we are working in a virtual environment we want you to know we are here to help, please contact our staff with any questions or concerns.

Also each class we take professional pictures of the cadets, and cadets can order graduation photos and class rings. While the pictures will have to wait until the cadets are here on campus. Mr. Porter with Cherish the Moment Photography and Video will be taking orders for class rings. Please call or message Mr. Porter, 757-515-3144

Alright fans today is #WisdomWednesday and it marks the start of Class 53 Virtual Classes. Please provide some words of ...
05/20/2020

Alright fans today is #WisdomWednesday and it marks the start of Class 53 Virtual Classes. Please provide some words of wisdom and encouragement for our candidates and staff as we embark on this new #ChalleNGe2change #wisdomwednesday

Who remembers what it was like during the first 2 weeks at CCYA? What do you miss the most about being at ChalleNGe? Let...
05/19/2020

Who remembers what it was like during the first 2 weeks at CCYA? What do you miss the most about being at ChalleNGe? Let's here it on #transformationtuesday #takemebacktuesday #challeNGe2change

05/13/2020

ATTENTION: Class 53 virtual students and parents. Each student needs to have an email address to start virtual learning. Please send the student's email to our lead teacher if you haven't already provided the information. His email is [email protected]

We really miss having cadets here on campus and we want you to know. Graduates we want to hear from you and how you are ...
05/13/2020

We really miss having cadets here on campus and we want you to know. Graduates we want to hear from you and how you are doing during this difficult time. Please communicate with your career counselors. We can't wait for things to be safe again so we can see the transformation from Candidate to Cadet to Productive Citizen. "Stay Safe My Friends"

Although we don't have any students on campus right now. Our teachers are working very hard to get our virtual learning ...
05/07/2020

Although we don't have any students on campus right now. Our teachers are working very hard to get our virtual learning program started for Class 53 cadets. A huge THANK YOU to them this week for all they do, not just this week but every week.

05/05/2020
Cadet Wing Class 49 Interview

Cadet Wing arrived at ChalleNGe young and in need of structure and discipline. Upon graduating from Class 49 she returned to high school ahead of schedule to graduate with the confidence to accomplish her goals. She is now serving in the United States Air Force.

The Mission of the Virginia National Guard Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy is to intervene in the lives of 16-18 year old teenagers by providing the val...

04/24/2020
Cadet Rodriguez Interview Class 47

We hope everyone is staying healthy and safe this week. Mr. Sheffield conducted an interview with Cadet Rodriguez from Class 47. I think Cadet Rodriguez shares some inspiring words during this time. Don't forget to comment, like and share with anyone who needs to hear the message. Stay Safe and Have a Great Weekend!

The Mission of the Virginia National Guard Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy is to intervene in the lives of 16-18 year old teenagers by providing the val...

04/17/2020
Commonwealth ChalleNGe Lommasson Interview

Another great interview this week with a Class 52 graduate and parent. Thank you Cadet Lommasson and Catherine Lommasson for taking time out of their schedule to share their story. Stay Safe and Healthy!

The Mission of the Virginia National Guard Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy is to intervene in the lives of 16-18 year old teenagers by providing the val...

04/10/2020
Cadet Noble Interview Class 31

Happy Friday ChalleNGe Family. We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Nothing better than an awesome interview with a graduate to start the weekend. Mr. Sheffield conducted an interview with Cadet Noble from Class 31. Mr. Noble embraced the ChalleNGe in 2009 and hasn't stopped chasing his dreams. Thank you for the interview Jim.

04/09/2020

Good Afternoon, We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times. During times like these it is important to continue to communicate and stay connected.

We want to connect with our graduates, hear your success stories, and an update on your progress. We want to hear from our graduate parents so we can share your experience with other parents and guardians.

Please reach out to Mr. Sheffield to get started. He can be reached via email at [email protected]

In the meantime be safe and stay healthy.

Please join me in Welcoming Ms. Se’mon Rosser-Williams to our recruiting team. She previously worked in our Career Couns...
04/03/2020

Please join me in Welcoming Ms. Se’mon Rosser-Williams to our recruiting team. She previously worked in our Career Counseling department helping our cadets find post-residential placement. She will be covering Southwest Virginia and can be reached at 757-491-5932 Ext 231. Welcome to the Team!

04/02/2020

Hello Class 53,

I hope that all of you are safe and healthy. We are living through extraordinary times, which requires each of us to do our part for the good of all. As you know, Governor Northam recently cancelled the rest of the academic school year and instituted a sate wide policy of "Stay at Home" until June 10 2020. Unfortunately, we need to delay the start of Class 53, at this point, that date is still to be determined.

As an alternative solution, this morning our chain of command gave us permission to begin detail planning for Class 53 to come aboard ChalleNGe in the VIRTUAL. What does this mean? The ChalleNGe curriculum is structured around eight core components; Academic Excellence, Life Coping Skills, Service to Community, Leadership Followership, Physical Fitness, Responsible Citizenship, Health and Hygiene and Job Skills. I feel that we can offer virtual curriculum and begin to satisfy five of eight core components.

I know that one of the major reasons most of you chose ChalleNGe was to satisfy your educational requirements through either our Credit Recovery Track or GED Track. Edgenuity, our educational platform can be fully accessible and monitored by ChalleNGe teachers in the virtual. In addition, ChalleNGe staff would develop and deliver virtual classes to include Counseling, Physical Fitness, Job Skills and Health Education.

I am confident that in partnership with our staff we can develop a solid plan so that each member of Class 53 can move towards achieving your goals. Beginning next week a ChalleNGe staff member will reach out to you to conduct a survey for interest in participating and any internet connectivity concerns. I am looking to gather data, develop curriculum and then roll out a virtual plan towards the end of April.

My intent is to begin Class 53 in the Virtual and in the future when we are able to have Cadets on campus then satisfy the non-virtual ChalleNGe graduation requirements and graduate. I look forward to your feedback. Be safe and stay healthy.

Respectfully,

E. Mark Chicoine
Director, CCYA
Captain USN (Ret)

03/17/2020

Dear Candidates, Parents, and Guardians,

I hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. I want to discuss our next steps with you as we all begin to adjust to the COVID-19 Pandemic. You and your family's health and wellbeing as well as the ChalleNGe staff is my number one priority.

We are carefully following all appropriate precautions and procedures outlined by Federal, State and Local medical professionals. In response to the current situation, we are delaying our In-Processing date from Tuesday, March 31, 2020 to Tuesday, May 5, 2020. I will provide a graduation date when approved.

Our team of medical professionals will continually monitor the Pandemic and the Academy will follow their guidance and recommendations. I will provide you with further information pertaining to the start date of Class 53 and any relevant information as I receive it. Our medical team will send a health questionnaire to each of you mid-April, please respond quickly and accurately.

Together we will overcome the COVID-19 Pandemic by staying vigilante and following good health practices and the recommendations of our very talented health professionals. The Staff and I look forward to working together with your children to make Class 53 a success.
Sincerely,

E. Mark Chicoine,
Captain, USN (Ret) Director
Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy

We could not do what we do here at ChalleNGe without the support of the Virginia National Guard. Thank you for your supp...
03/15/2020
Virginia National Guard

We could not do what we do here at ChalleNGe without the support of the Virginia National Guard. Thank you for your support!!

Congratulations to the graduates of Commonwealth ChalleNGe Class 52!

ChalleNGe Family here are some more of the graduation photos. A special Thank you to Danene Taylor for helping take the ...
03/12/2020

ChalleNGe Family here are some more of the graduation photos. A special Thank you to Danene Taylor for helping take the graduation photos.

ChalleNGe Family here are some more of the graduation photos. A special Thank you to Danene Taylor for helping take the graduation photos.

03/05/2020

Good Evening ChalleNGe Fans, Class 53 is quickly approaching but, we are still accepting applications. If you know someone who could benefit from embracing the ChalleNGe have them call or email admissions. [email protected]
Mr. Boykin or Mr. Sheffield 757-491-5932 Ext 235 or 254

What an awesome experience on Saturday Feb 29th for these graduates of Class 52. Thank you to everyone who attended and ...
03/02/2020

What an awesome experience on Saturday Feb 29th for these graduates of Class 52. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported our cadets. Good Luck Class 52!

The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduates 114 cadets from Class 52 Feb. 29, 2020, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach. Retired Brig. Gen. Walt Mercer, chief operations officer for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs, joined Mark Chicoine, director of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, in congratulating the cadets on finishing the five-and-a-half-month residential portion of the program. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andrew L. Eaves, an active duty Army aviator assigned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and a Mississippi National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academy graduate, was the guest speaker. The Virginia Army National Guard’s Troutville-based 29th Infantry Division Band performed ceremonial music for the event. ChalleNGe aims to intervene in the lives of 16-18 year-old teenagers by providing values, skills, education and self-discipline needed to produce responsible, productive citizens, and to do so in a highly-structured learning environment. (U.S. National Guard photo by A.J. Coyne)

Today we had the honor and privilege of having Rear Admiral Aisha K. Mix visit campus. RADM Mix is the Chief Professiona...
02/28/2020

Today we had the honor and privilege of having Rear Admiral Aisha K. Mix visit campus. RADM Mix is the Chief Professional Officer for the Nurse Category with the U.S. Public Health Service. She shared her experiences and passion for nursing. We have no doubt that her words inspired some of our cadets to pursue their education in the nursing field.

Address

253 C Street, SMR Camp Pendleton
Virginia Beach, VA
23451

General information

Total graduates to date: over 5,000 Cadets Total service to community hours for Class 38: over 8,000 71% of Class 38 obtained their GED 100% of Class 50 cadets have been placed (school/work/military/trade school/volunteer service)

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Comments

Any updates on possible dates for students to start on campus training? I have reviewed the guidelines for phase 2 and 3. Would the program be able to function under phase 2?
Here is a great link for to study the ASVAP. You can take the practice test and study any areas of weakness. Remember higher scores open more opportunities! If you study daily you'll be ready when you take the pretest in May/June
Good day, 5-2! Haven't heard an update but sending words of encouragement to all of you. Chin up and face the obstacle at hand...you can only do one thing at a time. Wishing y'all the best in your studies!
Thank you so much Challenge for all that you are doing not just for my cadet but all the cadets! I am so proud of daughter Leayah Seward! I know without a doubt that my child will walk into greatness! I have cried happy tears everyday! I thank God for Challenge!
Thank you Challenge...You all helped my child do in 6 months what he could not do in 4 years of HS. I just heard my child Cadet Anthony Johnson just earned his GED!! 🎓He is a perfect example to show that traditional schooling doesn't work for everyone!! VA CHALLENGE YOU ROCK! Again I thank you for boosting his confidence and helping him begin a new chapter in his life!! #PROUDMOMMA😍🥰👨🏾‍🎓
How about marching our hot tired Cadets down to the 7-11 for "FREE SLURPEE DAY" today bet 11am-7pm. I think that would be a great treat!! I know that is not in your POD but maybe you could add it!!😍🥵👍
My son AJ, Class 51, 1st Plt came home last Wednesday on his 1st pass and when I say NON STOP I mean non stop!! He has not stopped talking about the program. I know this was the best decision he has made in his 18 yo. He has talked about everything that has to do with the CHALLENGE". I have never seen my child so proud of his accomplishments like he is now. He has marched for me, sang cadence to me, showed me the exercises he does daily along with the ones they do for punishment!! He has gotten up early in the morning to go jogging!! He must have told me 100 times over how he can't believe he was chosen many times to be the 1st at something in this class, ie he made 1st draft of Silver Phase. Honor Guard, Platoon Sgt. The Kicker was on day 2 of being home he said to me and I quote, "Mom it feels weird being home. I don't know what to do with myself". He kept saying if I were at the challenge I'd be doing this or that. The structured environment the Challenge provides is working very well for him!! Well tomorrow I give my child back to the Challenge and I will rest easy because next to home I know he is in GREAT hands! Thank you challenge for all you are doing for my child and all the youth in the program...YOU ALL ROCK!!
What does being put on Fast Track mean?
Good to see Commonwealth Challenge youth group Academy doing what no other for its Country and not what your country can do for you i appreciate all in all beginn the center none end ending future thank God for it Forefathers build this country on the very stuff Amen
Love the concept! 🙂
Phone calls tomorrow (Saturday) !!!