HARLAN, Ky. -- The Kentucky National Guard's Youth Challenge program reached new heights with the graduation of Appalachian Challenge Academy's Class 3 on December 14, 2013. The academy is in its second year of operation and already the program is making a huge difference in the lives of Kentucky's teenagers.
"I am very proud of the accomplishments of each Class 3 graduate," said Josh Coldiron, ACA director. "This was our most successful class to date. Collectively, cadets earned 223 high school credits, which is a new class record at Appalachian ChalleNGe. Nineteen cadets earned their GED, and the class completed 3,072 hours of community service."
Jointly funded between the federal government and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and sponsored by the Kentucky National Guard, the Youth ChalleNGe program is designed to help youth, ages 16-18, get a jump start on life. The 22-week curriculum covers extensive academic studies geared toward completing a high school diploma as well as physical fitness, leadership and community awareness projects.
The program has been around for nearly 20 years. More than 100,000 cadets have graduated from the program nation-wide.