8 Core Components

Training during the "ChalleNGe" phase is based on the following 8 Core Components.

Academic Excellence

Students who qualify are able to earn a High School Diploma, GED, or CHSPE. Classroom studies at the Academy are designed to enhance the cadet`s education skills and instill a desire to continue self-improvement. The Academy also uses The Adult Basic Education (TABE) test to evaluate educational performance and progress.

Life Coping Skills

Each cadet can begin to explore their value structure and come to a better understanding of the attitudes, needs and desires that motivate them as individuals, members of the Academy and as citizens. Included in this area are classes and workshops on: substance abuse, anger management, stress management, team building skills, and budgeting.

Job Skills

Cadets develop the basic skills necessary to conduct job searches as their position in the community changes. Goal planning is one of the many areas covered in this area. Cadets learn to complete a written resume, fill out employment applications and how to conduct themselves during an interview.

Health and Hygiene

It is important that each cadet understand the positive correlation between good health and hygiene habits and life-long mental, physical and emotional well-being. Smoking Cessation classes, Nutrition and Sexual Responsibility are just a few of the topics covered in this area.

Responsible Citizenship

This component helps each cadet to develop a better understanding of the forces that work to make a community strong and supportive of its members, as well as the forces that work to disintegrate a community. Cadet's learn to understand civic responsibilities such as Voter Registration and Selective Service Registration.

Service to the Community

In the Core Component of Service to the Community, cadets develop an understanding of the benefits gained through volunteering at community projects and agencies. Cadets volunteer many hours performing services for agencies such as the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, and others.


Each cadet gains the skills necessary to be a good follower, a valued member of society, and gains exposure to the traits of good leaders so they may be prepared to lead when the opportunity arrives. Leadership Positions, Color Guard, Drill and Ceremonies, and Character Development are part of this curriculum.

Physical Fitness

Cadets participate in a program of physical fitness training, which encourages a lifelong commitment to physical, mental and emotional well-being. Cadets must show improvement during the 22-week residential program. Activities include, but are not limited to: military style PT, running and organized sports.