Home Youth service Keystone State Challenge Academy is now accepting applications for the January 2023 class

Keystone State Challenge Academy is now accepting applications for the January 2023 class


Annville, Pennsylvania – Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy (KSCA) is accepting applications for its second class of cadets beginning in January 2023. KSCA is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance to get their basic education, learn the leadership, self-discipline and accountability while striving to complete their education and build a better life.

The opening of the academy at Fort Indiantown Gap (FTIG) in Lebanon County in July 2022 officially established the National Guard Bureau’s Youth Challenge program in Pennsylvania. The program is open to Pennsylvania residents ages 16 to 18, male and female, who are not progressing through high school or who may not be on track to graduate. Applicants must be prepared to be drug-free, felony-free, and willing to commit to the program. The program lasts 17 months, with the first five months consisting of residential training at the FTIG followed by a year of mentoring in the community.

“After seeing the success of the first class of cadets, we are excited to build the second class and get off to a strong start in January,” said KSCA Director Steve Grossman. “It has been a pleasure working with the current class and seeing how focused they are on achieving their goals towards a better future. Many cadets talk about bettering themselves through higher education, the trade industry and schools, and even military service. It’s gratifying to see the cadets so excited about the next step in their lives.

For detailed eligibility criteria and to begin the application process, visit our Eligibility and Admissions webpage. If you prefer to receive an application by mail or would like to speak to someone about this program, please contact the academy by emailing [email protected], or calling 717-861-7767 or 717-861-8831.

The KSCA is a joint effort between the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and the National Guard Bureau in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Cadets are introduced to the military structure and focus on eight core elements: academic excellence; Fitness; Leadership/follow-up; Responsible citizenship; Professional skills; Community Service; Health and hygiene; and Life Skills. Graduates often receive high school credits, diplomas, or a GED. There is no tuition fee to attend. Meals, accommodation, uniforms and school supplies are provided free of charge.

Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 179,000 young people have completed the Challenge program nationwide. This award-winning program has been recognized as one of the most effective and cost-effective programs in the country for targeting young people who have dropped out of school or who are most at risk of not progressing satisfactorily, who are unemployed or under -employees.

The National Guard Youth Challenge program currently operates 40 Youth Challenge sites in 31 states and territories. The program is funded by both the federal government and the state.

More details can be found at www.dmva.pa.gov/KeystoneStateChallengeAcademy.