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Class #53 Completion Ceremony


Tough, Demanding, No-Nonsense, Structure, Discipline, Accomplishment! These are words that define the Freestate ChalleNGe Academy and lead to your future success!

Life is a challenge in many ways. Several youth have different life experiences, but in the end, many realize the same results. The Freestate ChalleNGe Academy gives youth the opportunity to change their lives around by providing a second chance to become productive citizens.

The purpose of the Freestate ChalleNGe Academy is to provide at-risk youth with academic, job skills and life skills training with emphasis on positive values in a structured environment that will give them hope and opportunity to become productive citizens.

The Freestate ChalleNGe Academy (FCA) is a division of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. Established under the authority of both federal and state law in 1993, the FCA is a state-run 17 ½ month residential and post-residential intervention for 16-18 year olds who have dropped out of high or are risk of dropping out.

The Freestate ChalleNGe Academy is located on the Edgewood Area of the Aberdeen Providing Ground, near Edgewood, Maryland. It services students from around the State of Maryland and accepts applications year round. Classes begin twice each year, in January and July, and are continuous for 5 ½ months. Following the residential phase of the program, cadets must complete the 12-month post-residential phase in order to successfully complete the Freestate ChalleNGe Academy program.

The ChalleNGe program is a great opportunity for the youth to learn about themselves, challenge all their capabilities and realize personal accomplishment! Academy staff and, personal mentors work diligently with cadets to ensure they maintain their track to success and accomplishment.

Our entire Freestate ChalleNGe Academy staff look forward to assisting youth who wish to make a difference, both now and in their future. Good luck!