The North Carolina Tarheel ChalleNGe Academies are part of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP), which was established by the National Guard in 1993 to turn around the lives of young men and women between the ages of 16 and 18 who are experiencing difficulty in completing traditional high school. This is a cost-free program that is open to permanent legal residents in each of the participating states/territories. NGYCP currently operates 40 programs in 28 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. NGYCP is a voluntary 17-month dropout recovery program that helps youths who are at-risk to earn their high school diploma or high school equivalency.
Both Tarheel ChalleNGe Academies in North Carolina offer credit recovery which allows youth the opportunity to return to high school upon successful completion of Youth ChalleNGe. They are quasi-military institutions developed by the National Guard to give at-risk teens a second chance. Students live in a military-like environment, which provides the structure and discipline needed to help students redirect their lives.
Learn More: https://nc-tcachallenge.org
To provide intervention and reclamation for 16 to 18 year-old high school dropouts, produce program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.
North Carolina’s first National Guard Youth Challenge Program began in the eastern part of the state in Sampson County. Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy officially opened their doors to Class 01 on March 28, 1994 and their current session is Class 54 located in Salemburg. Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy – Salemburg has graduated more than 5,000 youths from their program since its inception nearly 25 years ago. To date, the ChalleNGe program in North Carolina has graduated nearly 6000 youths since the establishment of the program in the state.
New London, NC
With a dropout rate of 1 out of 5 high school students in North Carolina schools according to the National Center for Education Statistics, there was a recognized need for a second Youth Challenge Program site and New London was chosen. Work began on the facilities in the spring of 2015 and Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy – New London opened their doors to Class 01 on Sunday, November 15, 2015 and the first class of cadets graduated from the program on Thursday, April 21, 2016. The New London campus began Class 53 on October 12, 2019 and graduates from the New London site now total near 600.