National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program helps youth who have dropped out of school and are unemployed gain the skills, education and self-discipline necessary to become productive adults.

The 17-month education, employment readiness, and youth development program has been proven to raise the educational attainment, employment and income-earning potential of participants, ages 16-18.

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (ChalleNGe) begins with an intensive, five-month residential phase, followed by 12 months of mentoring by a trained community member who helps the participant sustain and build on the gains achieved.

Founded by the National Guard to strengthen the communities in which its service members live and work, ChalleNGe is conducted at 35 academies that are operated in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense, National Guard Bureau, National Guard Youth Foundation, state governments and local sites.

The RAND Corporation calculated every dollar spent on the program results in $2.66 in benefits.

2014 Highlights

  • Lou Cabrera, formerly Director of Resource Management and Comptroller of the National Guard Bureau, was named President of the National Guard Youth Foundation.
  • The National Guard Youth Foundation launched a pilot with EverFi, a leading education technology company, to provide cadets at 10 sites with interactive STEM training. It plans to expand the initiative to all 35 ChalleNGe locations in 2015.

  • The foundation developed a national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a former EMCF grantee, to offer services such as financial literacy and responsibility and independence programs, and career education and exploration courses, to cadets across the country.

Youth Served

Note: ChalleNGe tracks participants in a program year that begins in July.

Revenue (in millions)


Cadets engaged in employment, education, military or community service 12 months after completing the program


Cadets earning a high school diploma or GED at the end of the program's residential phase
  • Legend:
  • Actual
  • Projected