Commonwealth ChalleNGe

Commonwealth ChalleNGe The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy is a 17-and-a-half month program. Director: Mark Chicoine
Deputy Director: Richard Guzman

Operating as usual

01/07/2022

We have collaborated with several other ChalleNGe programs throughout the United States and Puerto Rico to create this video. Thank you to Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy Oahu for putting the video together. Enjoy!

12/25/2021
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Commonwealth Challenge.Today we wanted to share the story of Cadet Deaja Mason who...
12/24/2021
Cadet Mason Graduate Class 48

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Commonwealth Challenge.

Today we wanted to share the story of Cadet Deaja Mason who graduated from CCYA in 2018 Class 48.

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 all the awardees this week. New Silver Phase and Gold Phase Cadets. We also held SCA elections today....
12/21/2021

Congratulations to all the awardees this week. New Silver Phase and Gold Phase Cadets. We also held SCA elections today. The cadets also received their pass briefing from the director. Happy Holidays and Everyone be safe.

Congratulations to our Silver Phase promotions this week. It has been a busy week already for the cadets as we are condu...
12/15/2021

Congratulations to our Silver Phase promotions this week.

It has been a busy week already for the cadets as we are conducting ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) testing. For those not familiar this is the entrance exam for the military. We use this test as a tool to help the cadets explore military and civilian careers as part of our Post-Residential action plan.

12/13/2021

Good Morning Class 56 Parents/Guardians,

Wow, time is flying by, 2nd pass is approaching very quickly. The cadets have been doing a great job of staying focused on their academics and post-residential goals. We know you are excited to see your cadet and your cadet is excited to see you.

We have finalized the pass pickup times.

Pickup-Wednesday 22 December 2021 0900-1000am

Drop off will discussed at the next ZOOM meeting that is scheduled for 21 December @7PM. The link will be sent as we get closer to the date.

Reminder: Mr. Porter who takes the cap and gown pictures for the cadet will also be on campus during pass pickup for you to purchase the photos of your cadet.

Join us in congratulating our Silver Phase promotions for this week. All of the cadets are working very hard to earn the...
12/08/2021

Join us in congratulating our Silver Phase promotions for this week. All of the cadets are working very hard to earn their next promotions. Please continue to encourage your cadet through emails, letters, and phone calls.

Today we share another ChalleNGe success story. This time from Class 47. Cadet Kerins attended Challenge looking for som...
12/02/2021

Today we share another ChalleNGe success story. This time from Class 47. Cadet Kerins attended Challenge looking for some self discipline, motivation, leadership skills, and to jump start his education.

Upon graduation he returned to high school but quickly realized traditional school was still not the answer for him. The self discipline, motivation, perseverance he gained at ChalleNGe enabled him to adapt quickly and obtain his GED.

With the support of his family and understanding that education is important he enrolled in community college.

Last week his journey continued when he left for Navy Basic Training. He enlisted in the Navy Nuclear program with goals of becoming a nuclear officer.

He is pictured with his parents and also his mentor who have helped keep him on track and push him every step of the way.

Join us in wishing him the best of luck on his journey.

Today we share another ChalleNGe success story. This time from Class 47. Cadet Kerins attended Challenge looking for some self discipline, motivation, leadership skills, and to jump start his education.

Upon graduation he returned to high school but quickly realized traditional school was still not the answer for him. The self discipline, motivation, perseverance he gained at ChalleNGe enabled him to adapt quickly and obtain his GED.

With the support of his family and understanding that education is important he enrolled in community college.

Last week his journey continued when he left for Navy Basic Training. He enlisted in the Navy Nuclear program with goals of becoming a nuclear officer.

He is pictured with his parents and also his mentor who have helped keep him on track and push him every step of the way.

Join us in wishing him the best of luck on his journey.

11/25/2021
consent.youtube.com

Happy Thanksgiving ChalleNGe Family,

We are extremely Thankful this year for all of the support through these difficult times. Thank you to all the cadets and families for giving us a chance to help your cadet make positive changes. To our staff for all the hard work and long hours dedicated to helping Virginia’s youth transform into productive citizens.

We continued a project we started last year. We asked the cadets to give a shoutout to their family and friends, and say two things they were thankful for this year. A special thank you goes out to the Art Club for making the backgrounds. The club sponsors Ms. Disney and Ms. Metzger.

Disclaimer: We did not coach the cadets on what to say. However, we are appreciative of how thankful they are for being at ChalleNGe. If you don’t see your cadet, we are sorry they were at another event during the filming.

1st Platoon

https://youtu.be/AoGbNqk1sHM

2nd Platoon

https://youtu.be/Rw3GmwwcyPE

3rd Platoon

https://youtu.be/nPyD0aRe9-c

Service to Community is an important part of what we are teaching at CCYA. This past weekend a group of our cadets parti...
11/22/2021

Service to Community is an important part of what we are teaching at CCYA. This past weekend a group of our cadets participated in a local food drive to distribute meals to local families. Thank you to Solid Rock Worldwide Outreach Ministry and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore for giving our cadets an opportunity to serve our local community. #challengeworks #challenge2change #servicetocommunity

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
11/17/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

11/17/2021

Good Morning Class 56 Parents/Guardians,

The time has arrived that everyone has been waiting for, 1st Pass. We know you are excited to see your cadet and your cadet is excited to see you.

We have finalized the pass pickup times.

Pass Pickup will be conducted similar to the drop-off of cadets on October 5th. This will be discussed in a virtual meeting on 22 November at 7:00PM. The link will be sent Monday.

Reminder: Mr. Porter who takes the cap and gown pictures for the cadet will also be on campus during pass pickup for you to purchase the photos of your cadet.

Pickup-Tuesday 23 November 0900AM-1000AM
Dropoff-Monday 29 November 4:00PM-8:00PM

Please ensure your cadet has eaten dinner prior to returning them to ChalleNGe.

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
11/13/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

11/11/2021

Short clip of the cadets marching in the Veterans Day Parade today. Thank you to everyone for your support, the cadets did an outstanding job. Spread the good work of ChalleNGe. The next class starts in March. #ChallengeAccepted #challengeworks

11/11/2021

Good morning. We were accepted to participate in the Veteran's Day parade in the Virginia Beach Oceanfront that begins at 9am and ends by 11am. The company will be marching in the parade in their uniforms. The route goes from Atlantic Avenue to 19th street to the Convention Center. We will be posting pictures of the event. If you can make it out there please do to support the cadets. The cadets will depart immediately after the parade so please do not expect to meet with your cadet at this time. Thanks...Deputy

Cadet Bradshaw and Cadet Wiggins had the opportunity to speak with vendors and service providers today at the Virginia J...
11/10/2021

Cadet Bradshaw and Cadet Wiggins had the opportunity to speak with vendors and service providers today at the Virginia Juvenile Justice Association (VJJA) VJJA.net conference in Williamsburg. They had the opportunity to share their stories and how CCYA has helped them so far. They did an outstanding job representing the academy and their fellow cadets. Virginia Juvenile Justice Association #challenge2change

Cadet Bradshaw and Cadet Wiggins had the opportunity to speak with vendors and service providers today at the Virginia Juvenile Justice Association (VJJA) VJJA.net conference in Williamsburg. They had the opportunity to share their stories and how CCYA has helped them so far. They did an outstanding job representing the academy and their fellow cadets. Virginia Juvenile Justice Association #challenge2change

Today is Day 30 and academics are in full swing. GED cadets are learning everything they can to prepare for the GED. Cre...
11/03/2021

Today is Day 30 and academics are in full swing. GED cadets are learning everything they can to prepare for the GED. Credit recovery cadets are working hard to earn their first credits. Everyone is looking forward to our first awards assembly in a couple of weeks.

As you can see from the photos we have started our club activities, basketball practice today for those who were interested.

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
10/28/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

10/25/2021

Good Afternoon Class 56 Families,

We had a few questions this weekend about weekly phone calls. The current schedule will be as follows:

1st Platoon-Saturday
2nd Platoon-Wednesday
3rd Platoon-Thursday

All calls will begin after dinner from approximately 6:00PM-7:30PM

As a reminder please don't give your cadet any bad or negative news, please reach out to our counseling department so they can help support your cadet.

Class 56 is well underway and academics have started. Yesterday the cadets began working with our awesome academic team ...
10/19/2021

Class 56 is well underway and academics have started. Yesterday the cadets began working with our awesome academic team rotating through their core subjects.

The cadets working towards earning their GED are learning about the exams. The four parts of the test are Mathematical Reasoning, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. Our teachers will teach them everything they need to know for the GED over the next 20 weeks.

Our cadets working on credit recovery have started working on their assigned classes on Edgenuity. The teacher and staff are in the classroom supporting them as they work on the computers.

All cadets are also receiving their Life Coping Skills classes with our Clinical Counselor. Learning to cope with the ChalleNGes of everyday life and develop positive outlets.

#challenge2change #challengeworks

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
10/15/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
10/15/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
10/15/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
10/15/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post
10/15/2021

Photos from Commonwealth ChalleNGe's post

10/15/2021

Congratulations Class 56 Cadets!!!!!!!

10/14/2021

Good afternoon. Deputy here with another update. As Mr. Sheffield posted, phone calls are tomorrow afternoon, beginning around 3:00pm until 7:00pm. Cadets will be told to call their parent/guardian. If you do not receive a phone call, send a facebook message and provide your cadets name, platoon, a phone number you can be reached. We will make every attempt to have each cadet make contact.

Today the soon to be cadets, in addition to doing physical fitness, marching, the Confidence Course, received classes that introduced them to the Clinical Counselors. They learned what our Clinical Counselors do for them, how they can request to speak to them, what Life Coping Skills involves and that they are here to support the cadets throughout the residential phase. The candidates also were introduced to the Career Advisors and Mentor Coordinator Asst.

They learned what the Career Advisors will do for them which is help them establish short- and long-term goals, find placement before they graduate, teach them Job Skills to include resume prep, interviewing, searching for jobs, taking the ASVAB, and the military. The mentor coordinator assistant mentioned that an academy requirement is that each cadet must have a mentor by week 13 (3 Jan). The mentor is considered matched once the mentor has completed the training and passed both background checks. They also received a briefing from the Logistics Director who discussed the supply process, keep their gear/uniform secure, how to exchange their gear, covid protocols, fire drill procedures and what to do in the unlikely event that there is an active shooter on campus. As I type the candidates are outdoor enjoying the great weather with some more physical fitness exercises. Dinner starts at 5:30pm so they have at least 45 minutes left. 😊

We are proud that your candidates have almost completed the acclimation phase. Tomorrow morning, they will go on a 1.5 hour (1000-1130) road march to celebrate the end of acclimation. They will then have lunch and prepare for the induction ceremony which begins at 1:30pm. Each cadet receiving a certificate will be photographed for you.

Have a great evening! – Deputy Guzman 😉

10/14/2021

Good Afternoon Class 56 Family,

Tomorrow is the day your Candidates graduate from the acclimation phase and become full-fledged ChalleNGe Cadets.

Parents/guardians should receive the first phone call. Tomorrow's phone calls are planned for mid to late afternoon.

As a reminder, please do not provide any bad news to your cadets during these phone calls. Only positive words of encouragement. This is an exciting time for everyone and they have all worked really hard these last 10 days, be proud and encourage them to continue to embrace the process.

If you have questions after phone calls or miss the call, please reach out to our staff.

Cadet Parker, Class 52 graduated from Commonwealth ChalleNGe just before the pandemic started, but didn’t let that stop ...
10/13/2021

Cadet Parker, Class 52 graduated from Commonwealth ChalleNGe just before the pandemic started, but didn’t let that stop her plans for the future.

She had goals to join the military and is checking these goals off one at a time. She recently graduated from Basic Training at Fort Jackson, and is continuing her training as a Human Resource Specialist.

PFC Parker said, “Make sure the cadets understand that if they can make it through Challenge they can definitely get through boot camp.” She said she was well prepared for the mental toughness needed for bootcamp after going through ChalleNGe.

Join us in thanking her for her service and wishing her well in her future service.

Cadet Parker, Class 52 graduated from Commonwealth ChalleNGe just before the pandemic started, but didn’t let that stop her plans for the future.

She had goals to join the military and is checking these goals off one at a time. She recently graduated from Basic Training at Fort Jackson, and is continuing her training as a Human Resource Specialist.

PFC Parker said, “Make sure the cadets understand that if they can make it through Challenge they can definitely get through boot camp.” She said she was well prepared for the mental toughness needed for bootcamp after going through ChalleNGe.

Join us in thanking her for her service and wishing her well in her future service.

10/11/2021

Class 56, 11 Oct 2021, Acclimation day 7. Good evening! Deputy Director Guzman here to give you an update on your candidates.

Since my last update the candidates have been busy practicing Drill & Ceremony (marching, facing movements, cadence, marching in step, wearing uniform properly and hydrating before marching).

Candidates will continue practicing Drill & Ceremony because that is necessary throughout the Residential phase. Moving with a purpose. 🙂 .

In addition to that, they have been doing plenty of Physical Fitness to include the initial Physical Fitness test they did on Saturday. They gave it their best effort. Their next official PFT will be between week 10-12 (before 2nd pass). So they have time to continue to work out so they can improve their scores. These candidates are motivated.

While some are homesick, they are still participating. Today they received an Ethics and Fraternization policy brief from the Director. This lays the ground work for the candidates (soon to be cadets) to understand integrity and honesty. The Fraternization policy is cut and dry, zero tolerance.

3rd platoon received training on all the core components from our Trainer. Mr. Morgan gave a detailed Responsible Citizenship core component class to all the platoons. They were briefly taught about, selective service, registering to vote, understanding the constitution, government & citizenship and how they will participate in the democratic process (voting and election process). This would be achieved when the candidates (then cadets) vote for the cadets running for Student Council Association (SCA), next month. 1st and 2nd platoon also took the 2 hour Pre-TABE test (a requirement). A busy day.

Tomorrow, we will be doing the Rapid Covid Tests, Core Component classes and Pre-TABE test for 3rd PLT. Weather permitting we will get the platoons through the Confidence Course since they already did the safety walk through. Four more days until Acclimation is over!

Continue to support your candidate.

If you have any questions or concerns, email: [email protected] and/or [email protected]

Have a great night!!!!

Deputy Director Guzman. :)

Address

253 C Street, State Military Reservation
Virginia Beach, VA
23451

Telephone

+17574915932

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Comments

This post is in response to Class 55 Graduation- Once the graduation ceremony has ended and the Virtual session is over, would their be an opportunity to purchase a DVD? This is just a thought. Please remember that this is a pivotal moment for all of our young men and women. I am proud of my child's accomplishments. As a parent I would like the opportunity to view this ceremony again and again at my convenience. Recordings and pictures last a lifetime. Is there anyway we can make this happen for the graduation ceremony? Additionally, if this was not planned, can you please make the necessary arrangements to make a DVD of the ceremony available to parents and families, since we can no longer take part of the ceremony as previously arranged.
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