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
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.
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Director: Mark Chicoine Deputy Director: Richard Guzman, Program Coordinator: Robert Laury Commandant: Marcus Brooks

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.

02/19/2020

Class 52 Parents, Guardians, and Family Members. Graduation is upon us, and we are excited to Welcome the next Class of Challenge Alumni to the family.

Class 52, Graduation Ceremony
February 29th, 2020
09:00 AM
Virginia Beach Convention Center (Ballroom)
1000 19th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Note: Cadets will receive a graduation packet, it will contain several items including their diploma. For Credit Recovery Cadets, it will contain a sealed transcript. Please do not open this sealed envelope, it goes to their home high school when you re-enrolled them in school.

Great turnout for today’s Open House for Class 53. If you are considering Class 53 which starts on March 31, Apply Now!!...
02/15/2020

Great turnout for today’s Open House for Class 53. If you are considering Class 53 which starts on March 31, Apply Now!! Availability is limited!

Class 52, Week 20, Silver/Gold Phase
02/13/2020

Class 52, Week 20, Silver/Gold Phase

Today the Canine Cadets visited the Virginia Beach SPCA to work with the dogs and assist the shelter.
02/13/2020

Today the Canine Cadets visited the Virginia Beach SPCA to work with the dogs and assist the shelter.

The cadets had the opportunity to put their jobs skills to work today. We held our career fair and the cadets had the op...
02/12/2020

The cadets had the opportunity to put their jobs skills to work today. We held our career fair and the cadets had the opportunity to meet with employers and complete jobs applications. Thank you to all the employers and organizations that volunteered their time. They included Autobell, Coast Guard, Motorworld, Virginia National Guard, Ironworkers, Tidewater Tech, Virginia Ship Repair, IBEX Global, Mcdonald's, Hope Home Care, and the US Army. A Special Thank You to our Career Counselors for organizing an outstanding event. Mrs. Williams was the extraordinary contributor that lead the charge to reach out to employers.

The cadets had the opportunity to put their jobs skills to work today. We held our career fair and the cadets had the opportunity to meet with employers and complete jobs applications. Thank you to all the employers and organizations that volunteered their time. They included Autobell, Coast Guard, Motorworld, Virginia National Guard, Ironworkers, Tidewater Tech, Virginia Ship Repair, IBEX Global, Mcdonald's, Hope Home Care, and the US Army. A Special Thank You to our Career Counselors for organizing an outstanding event. Mrs. Williams was the extraordinary contributor that lead the charge to reach out to employers.

Class 52, week 19, Gold Phase - DC Trip
02/08/2020

Class 52, week 19, Gold Phase - DC Trip

Commonwealth ChalleNGe's cover photo
02/08/2020

Commonwealth ChalleNGe's cover photo

The cadets participated in Mock Interview Day. We invited local employers, the military and other partners to conduct in...
02/07/2020

The cadets participated in Mock Interview Day. We invited local employers, the military and other partners to conduct interviews with the cadets. The cadets were all interviewing for a Customer Service position and the feedback from the interviewers was outstanding. They said the cadets were well prepared, engaged and excited to learn from the experience.

The cadets participated in Mock Interview Day. We invited local employers, the military and other partners to conduct interviews with the cadets. The cadets were all interviewing for a Customer Service position and the feedback from the interviewers was outstanding. They said the cadets were well prepared, engaged and excited to learn from the experience.

Congratulations to these cadets for being awarded Silver and Gold Phase this week. All the cadets are continuing to work...
02/06/2020

Congratulations to these cadets for being awarded Silver and Gold Phase this week. All the cadets are continuing to work hard on placement and preparing for graduation.

Congratulations to these cadets for being awarded Silver and Gold Phase this week. All the cadets are continuing to work hard on placement and preparing for graduation.

The cadets and staff have been working hard preparing Class 52 for the road ahead. Cadet Younger finalized his plans   y...
02/04/2020

The cadets and staff have been working hard preparing Class 52 for the road ahead. Cadet Younger finalized his plans yesterday with his enlistment in the Virginia National Guard with the help of his recruiter SSG Shawn Bartz-Virginia National Guard Recruiter. He enlisted with the MOS 91B (Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic) and will be attending basic training at Fort Leonardwood, MO and will attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Lee, VA.

A Great Day had by all. The cadets did a great job on their routines, the drill team and chorus.
02/03/2020

A Great Day had by all. The cadets did a great job on their routines, the drill team and chorus.

A Great Day had by all. The cadets did a great job on their routines, the drill team and chorus.

01/31/2020

Class 52 Family Day is almost here, some details for tomorrow. Family Day Events will begin at 1245. Once you arrive on post cadets will be directing traffic and parking. Proceed to the large tents (same location as pass pickup). It appears the weather maybe chilly and rainy so dress warm. Please bring money to purchase food to support the scholarship fund from the Support Association. The Art Club will also be holding a silent auction. Bids for the auction will begin at 1:30PM and the winners will be announced around 3:00PM. Family Day activities will end at 4:00PM.

Wow, Look at our Cadets and all their accomplishments this month. We had Silver and Gold Phase Awards, Monthly Platoon P...
01/30/2020

Wow, Look at our Cadets and all their accomplishments this month. We had Silver and Gold Phase Awards, Monthly Platoon PT and Leadership Awards, Academic Awards, GED and Credit Recovery Ribbons, Life Coping Skills Ribbon, and Certificates for those who have been helping in Maintenance and learning new skills. Congratulations to all the awardees! (Photos by Deputy Guzman)

Wow, Look at our Cadets and all their accomplishments this month. We had Silver and Gold Phase Awards, Monthly Platoon PT and Leadership Awards, Academic Awards, GED and Credit Recovery Ribbons, Life Coping Skills Ribbon, and Certificates for those who have been helping in Maintenance and learning new skills. Congratulations to all the awardees! (Photos by Deputy Guzman)

A little Monday Motivation, Cadet Smith and Cadet Williams, have enlisted in the Virginia National Guard. Both will be s...
01/27/2020

A little Monday Motivation, Cadet Smith and Cadet Williams, have enlisted in the Virginia National Guard. Both will be shipping off to Basic Training in April with follow on AIT as Unit Supply Specialist (92Y) They are pictures below with their recruiter SSG Shawn Bartz-Virginia National Guard Recruiter Join us in congratulating them and wishing them well!

Everyday great things happen at ChalleNGe with our cadets. Today was especially exciting for this group. This group has ...
01/24/2020

Everyday great things happen at ChalleNGe with our cadets. Today was especially exciting for this group. This group has started their Certified Nurses Assistant classes at Tidewater Medical Training. At the end of their training they will be prepared to pass the State Certification Exam to be a CNA. #challenge2change

Congratulations to our Silver and Gold Phase Cadets this week. GED testing is in full swing this week and will continue ...
01/22/2020

Congratulations to our Silver and Gold Phase Cadets this week. GED testing is in full swing this week and will continue for the weeks ahead.

Just one of the great things happening this week. The Canine Cadets have started training with the dogs. They will conti...
01/22/2020

Just one of the great things happening this week. The Canine Cadets have started training with the dogs. They will continue every week until graduation. The dogs and the students both learning and building on their skills.

The ChalleNGe Soccer team led by Coach Kreitner was on point Saturday and came away with an overwhelming win. Thank you ...
01/19/2020

The ChalleNGe Soccer team led by Coach Kreitner was on point Saturday and came away with an overwhelming win. Thank you for all who came out to support the team. (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

The ChalleNGe Soccer team led by Coach Kreitner was on point Saturday and came away with an overwhelming win. Thank you for all who came out to support the team. (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

Placement activities are in full swing for Class 52. Some Cadets have started their college classes with Tidewater Commu...
01/16/2020

Placement activities are in full swing for Class 52. Some Cadets have started their college classes with Tidewater Community College, We have CNA classes starting with Tidewater Medical. Students interested in joining the military are working with the military recruiters and completing applications. Our credit recovery students are continuing to finish their credits to return to high school. A huge shout out to our staff for continuing to manage all the moving pieces and logistics.#challeNGe2change

Another successful resource day in the books for Class 52. Today we had special guests from Smithfield Foods, Education ...
01/15/2020

Another successful resource day in the books for Class 52. Today we had special guests from Smithfield Foods, Education Credit Management Corporation, and the US Census Bureau. The cadets learned about job opportunities as well as how to manage the cost of higher education.

Congratulations to this week's Silver and Gold Phase Cadets, lots of progress this week. They have adjusted to being bac...
01/15/2020

Congratulations to this week's Silver and Gold Phase Cadets, lots of progress this week. They have adjusted to being back from 2nd Pass and are continuing to do great work.

Congratulations to this week's Silver and Gold Phase Cadets, lots of progress this week. They have adjusted to being back from 2nd Pass and are continuing to do great work.

The CCYA soccer team had an outstanding game this past weekend , winning by a score of 10-2.  They are now 2-0, and are ...
01/13/2020

The CCYA soccer team had an outstanding game this past weekend , winning by a score of 10-2. They are now 2-0, and are currently tied for first place in their division. Again, they displayed excellent sportsmanship to the other team and referees. Looking forward to their next game this coming Saturday at 6:55 PM at the Virginia Beach Field House.

01/02/2020

Happy New Year ChalleNGe Fans. We hope everyone enjoyed some family time during their break. The day has come for the cadets to return from pass. As a reminder pass return is today. Please have your cadets back at ChalleNGe between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM. We are looking forward to this final push to graduation.

Class 52, 2nd Pass Pickup
12/20/2019

Class 52, 2nd Pass Pickup

12/19/2019

From Mr. Porter at Cherish the Moment Photography and Video: “Cadet Class photos will be available tommorrow for purchase as well as class rings. If you have any questions contact Mr Porter at 7575153144.”

Join us in Congratulating all of our awardees, these cadets have been working hard for 12 weeks. 1st Round Gold Phase an...
12/19/2019

Join us in Congratulating all of our awardees, these cadets have been working hard for 12 weeks. 1st Round Gold Phase and more Silver Phase Cadets each week. Also the teaches gave out academic awards to include 17 students who have already achieved their GED. Awesome job to all the cadets. (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

Join us in Congratulating all of our awardees, these cadets have been working hard for 12 weeks. 1st Round Gold Phase and more Silver Phase Cadets each week. Also the teaches gave out academic awards to include 17 students who have already achieved their GED. Awesome job to all the cadets. (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

The cadets participated in an annual tradition here at ChalleNGe. During the tree lighting ceremony the music club sang ...
12/19/2019

The cadets participated in an annual tradition here at ChalleNGe. During the tree lighting ceremony the music club sang the national anthem and some holiday tunes. The cadets were also able to enjoy some holiday snacks.A great time was had by all. (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

The cadets participated in an annual tradition here at ChalleNGe. During the tree lighting ceremony the music club sang the national anthem and some holiday tunes. The cadets were also able to enjoy some holiday snacks.A great time was had by all. (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

Thank you to the following organizations for coming in, today, in support of Cadet Resource Day:Virginia Employment Comm...
12/18/2019

Thank you to the following organizations for coming in, today, in support of Cadet Resource Day:

Virginia Employment Commission
TCC Virginia Beach
Universal Technical Institute

Cadets had the opportunity to speak with representatives for each organization, in order to help further their career goals, and expose them to new opportunities. Cadets also had classes on resume and cover letter writing, today.

This morning, Commonwealth Challenge recognized Greg Dagres, Barber and Owner of Gregory's Oceanfront Barbershop & Salon...
12/18/2019

This morning, Commonwealth Challenge recognized Greg Dagres, Barber and Owner of Gregory's Oceanfront Barbershop & Salon in Virginia Beach, as a Friend of Challenge. On the first day of Class 52, when a Barber wasn't available, Mr. Dagres stepped in, and volunteered his time (and clippers) to cutting over 100 male Cadets' hair. The Challenge program is grateful for Mr. Dagres' spirit of volunteerism, and commitment to helping our youth!

Mr. Morgan, Social Studies Instructor, brought in a guest speaker to discuss a very unique and important part of world h...
12/17/2019

Mr. Morgan, Social Studies Instructor, brought in a guest speaker to discuss a very unique and important part of world history. Joel Thompson, of the Fenvald Vikings living history group, came to teach Cadets about Viking history, and even show them some Viking combat techniques against Mr. Morgan! Interactive history is vital to engaging young people to learn through Challenge. (Photos by Mr. Dye)

Mr. Morgan, Social Studies Instructor, brought in a guest speaker to discuss a very unique and important part of world history. Joel Thompson, of the Fenvald Vikings living history group, came to teach Cadets about Viking history, and even show them some Viking combat techniques against Mr. Morgan! Interactive history is vital to engaging young people to learn through Challenge. (Photos by Mr. Dye)

Also, join us in congratulating Cadet McInnis, Class 51, on recently graduating from U.S. Army basic training! Cadet McI...
12/17/2019

Also, join us in congratulating Cadet McInnis, Class 51, on recently graduating from U.S. Army basic training! Cadet McInnis graduated with her high school diploma while in #Challenge, then went straight into basic training upon Challenge graduation. Cadet McInnis is now in Patriot Launching Station operations and maintenance 🇺🇸 #challenge2change

Good luck to Cadet Santiago Diaz, as he heads to MEPS, today, to join the U.S. Army! Cadet Santiago Diaz is one of our m...
12/17/2019

Good luck to Cadet Santiago Diaz, as he heads to MEPS, today, to join the U.S. Army! Cadet Santiago Diaz is one of our military Fast Track Cadets, having already earned his GED and sufficient ASVAB score. Cadet Santiago Diaz will be joining the Infantry 🇺🇸 #Challenge2Change

12/12/2019
Cadet James Parent Interview

Class 52 is continuing to make progress on this journey to become productive citizens. The mother of Cadet James shares her experience over 1st pass.

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...

Congratulations to our Silver Phase cadets this week. Also a special Thank you to our partners Colonnas Shipyard, United...
12/11/2019

Congratulations to our Silver Phase cadets this week. Also a special Thank you to our partners Colonnas Shipyard, United States Coast Guard, Go To Work, and Curtis Rogers Attorney and Counselor at Law (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

Congratulations to our Silver Phase cadets this week. Also a special Thank you to our partners Colonnas Shipyard, United States Coast Guard, Go To Work, and Curtis Rogers Attorney and Counselor at Law (Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

12/05/2019
Class 52, Cadet Morgan, Parent Interview

Cadet Morgan's parent sat down with us at 1st Pass Return, and described the positive changes she has noticed in him, even after only eight weeks in Challenge (interview and video editing by Mr. Sheffield): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQSIR8iNExc

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...

Class 52, Week 10, Resource Day
12/04/2019

Class 52, Week 10, Resource Day

Class 52 cadets are well on their way to becoming productive citizens. At today's resource day the cadets learned about ...
12/04/2019

Class 52 cadets are well on their way to becoming productive citizens. At today's resource day the cadets learned about careers in the medical field from Tidewater Medical Training. They also learned about careers in law enforcement and firefighting from the Virginia Beach Fire Department and Virginia Beach Police Department SWAT. Thank you to both of these groups for sharing your experiences with our cadets.(Photos by Mr. Sheffield)

Challenge accepted, Challenge met. Cadet Maxson, Class 50, recently graduated from U.S. Army basic training, and will jo...
12/03/2019

Challenge accepted, Challenge met. Cadet Maxson, Class 50, recently graduated from U.S. Army basic training, and will join the Army Infantry. Join us in congratulating this outstanding Alumus, as we wish him the best in his service to our nation 🇺🇸 #challenge2change

The Class 52 Environmental Club recently took a field trip to the Elizabeth River Project Learning Barge in Norfolk! Cad...
12/03/2019

The Class 52 Environmental Club recently took a field trip to the Elizabeth River Project Learning Barge in Norfolk! Cadets learned from members of the University of Virginia's Environmental Science Department about the effects of sea level rise, and coastal flooding, on our local communities. Cadets participated in hands-on learning experiments to test the pH and salinity of the river water, and explore the effects on local plants and wildlife. (Photos by Ms. Garcia-Roman)

The Class 52 Environmental Club recently took a field trip to the Elizabeth River Project Learning Barge in Norfolk! Cadets learned from members of the University of Virginia's Environmental Science Department about the effects of sea level rise, and coastal flooding, on our local communities. Cadets participated in hands-on learning experiments to test the pH and salinity of the river water, and explore the effects on local plants and wildlife. (Photos by Ms. Garcia-Roman)

Class 52 Cadet Turner continued his commitment to PT over First Pass, and took part in his local Thanksgiving Day 5K! #C...
12/02/2019

Class 52 Cadet Turner continued his commitment to PT over First Pass, and took part in his local Thanksgiving Day 5K! #Challenge2Change

Welcome back, Class 52! We hope you enjoyed your time home with friends, family and mentors (and working on your Post-Re...
12/02/2019

Welcome back, Class 52! We hope you enjoyed your time home with friends, family and mentors (and working on your Post-Residential Plan and classwork). It's time to get back to work, and continue the grind that is Challenge. Second Pass, Family Day and Graduation will all be here in the blink of an eye! (Photos by Mr. Dye)

Welcome back, Class 52! We hope you enjoyed your time home with friends, family and mentors (and working on your Post-Residential Plan and classwork). It's time to get back to work, and continue the grind that is Challenge. Second Pass, Family Day and Graduation will all be here in the blink of an eye! (Photos by Mr. Dye)

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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