To be considered for selection into the program, the applicant must be:

  • 16-18 years of age at the time of entry into the Program. Participants must not have reached their 19th birthday on the 1st day of the class they are applying for. Students who are 15 1/2 and turn 16 years old during the residential phase will be considered.
  • No longer attending any school and has not received a secondary school diploma or certificate from a program of equivalency for such diploma (ex. GED) OR if attending high school, you must withdraw/transfer prior to enrollment. Upon acceptance to ChalleNGe, the applicant must officially withdraw or transfer to ChalleNGe, and send us paperwork confirming they are no longer enrolled in a traditional or alternative high school/middle school/home school.
  • A citizen or legal resident of the United States.
  • A Virginia resident
  • Unemployed, or underemployed.
  • Not currently on parole or probation for other than juvenile status offenses, not awaiting sentencing, and not under indictment, charged, or convicted of a crime that is considered a felony when charged as an adult. Also, applicants CAN NOT be court-ordered to attend the ChalleNGe program.
  • Drug-Free by Day 40.  Students will be drug screened and must be willing to be free from the use of illegal drugs or substances.
  • Physically and mentally capable of participating in the Program with reasonable accommodations for physical and other disabilities.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy serves unemployed or underemployed 16-18-year-old youth who have withdrawn or have dropped out of high school, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.