Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to apply?

* You must Volunteer for the program
* 16-18 years old (must be 16 by the first day and cannot turn 19 before the start of the program)
* Legal resident of the United States and of Florida
* Students at-risk of dropping out of high school or credit deficient
* Students free from any serious involvement with the law, free of felony charges and no pending court proceedings

Is there a cost to the cadet

Parents are not required to pay tuition for the program. There are also some OPTIONAL costs that may occur during the residential phase (i.e. Class Pictures, Yearbook, etc.). These costs are OPTIONAL for the family.

Can I make my child attend Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy?

No. Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy is strictly a voluntary program. Your child must have a desire to attend.

Do cadets get to go home?

Yes. Cadets get two placement passes during the residential phase of the program. These passes are mandatory for the purpose of the Cadet obtaining positive placement which is a requirement for program completion. For more information concerning placement passes please refer to the Parent Handbook.

Can I come and visit my cadet?

We have one scheduled “Family Day” where the family can come and visit. Cadets receive two placement passes during the residential phase. Mentors can arrange to visit their Cadet once a background check has been done, and the Mentor has attended training. Emergencies will be handled on a case by case basis.

Where can I get a Parent Handbook?

The Parent Handbook can be downloaded Here (Coming Soon)
Note: Adobe Reader is required to view Parent Handbook

What ages do you accept?

Applicants must be at least 16 years old and no more than 18 years old (the applicant can turn 19 years old before graduation day).

Can I get my GED while at the program?

Yes, but in order to earn a GED, the cadet must pass all the required GED tests. Attending the Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy does NOT guarantee that the cadet will earn a GED.

Do I get High School credits?

Yes, you will receive 1/2 credit for each course you take with a minimum of 2 1/2 

How many hours of school a day?

You will be in Academic classes a minimum of 5 hours a day.

What type of courses do I take?

All basic core classes including Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies and Vocational classes.

Do I go to school five days a week?


Can I enroll in College with a GED?

With a GED you have the ability to enroll in Community College. The majority of four year colleges will accept students on a junior basis if they have a two year degree from a community college. Most four year colleges do not accept GEDs for standard admission.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is the presence of a caring responsible adult who, along with the guardian or parent, provides support, motivation, guidance, advice and friendship in order to help a young person succeed.

What does Mentoring mean to a child?

To a child mentoring means to have a responsible, caring role model and friend to look up to. This role model can help them achieve their goals in life.

Once I become a mentor how do I begin contact with my mentee?

Prospective mentors can start writing to their mentees immediately starting day one.

How often can I visit my mentee at the academy?

Mentors, once screened, are allowed to visit their mentee twice a week. Visits must be authorized. If mentors would like to eat with their mentee, they can do so during academy hours in the dining facility. No food can be brought on campus. Visits are to be mission specific, examples are; discussing post-residential action plan, filling out job applications, assistance on resume etc.

What happens if I run into a problem with my mentee?

It is not easy for a young person to trust an adult, it may take a long time to build trust in the mentoring relationship. you as the mentor cannot interpret caution as rejection, it is likely that the youth may not even know that they need your assistance. Patience and time is the key.

Where is Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy located?

Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy is located on the Camp Blanding National Guard Military Reservation approximately 45 miles west of St. Augustine, Florida.

Can I Tour the Academy?

Yes tours of the academy are given on a regular basis. Please look in the events section of our website for dates and call the Academy at 904-682-4029 to schedule a tour.

Where and when can I attend orientation?

Orientation schedules are listed on our website under the events section or you can contact the Academy at 904-559-1726 ext. 4031 or 904-559-1726 ext. 4028 for information.

How can I support the Academy?

The best way to help the academy is to write your local political figures and tell them you support what the academy does. Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy does accept financial donations. This money is used for scholarships, awards, and items that we are not allowed to purchase with state funds. Checks or money orders (do not send cash) should be made out to the Florida Youth ChalleNGe Foundation. These donations will be deposited in a 501(c)3 account and are tax deductible. You can mail your donations to:

Florida Youth ChalleNGe Academy
5629 State Road 16 West, Bldg 3800
Starke, FL 32091