About Us

2014 YCA Overall from Hawaii Department of Defense on Vimeo.

At the Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy we focus on training our Cadets to be successful members of society through the use of an Eight Core Component frame work.The Eight Core Components of the intervention model focuses on the holistic development of the Cadet. Deliberate experiential learning training at the Academy are, therefore, created with these Eight Core Components as their foundation.

Academic Excellence
Cadets are trained to be Lifelong Learners.  Classroom studies at the Academy are designed to enhance the Cadet’s education skills and instill a desire to continue learning.  Academic classes are grounded on the General Education Development (GED) Curriculum, underscoring five major disciplines: Language Arts -Reading, Language Arts- Writing, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Sciences. The Adult Basic Education (TABE) norm test serves to evaluate educational performance and progress.

Life Coping Skills
Cadets are trained to handle the challenges and blessings of life.   Cadets 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. They learn to understand personal finance by demonstrating basic banking skills, identify methods of obtaining and managing good credit, and demonstrate how to prepare and manage a personal budget. Recognize various emotions and stressors, identify coping strategies, and conflict resolution strategies. They learn the importance of setting and achieving goals. Other classes and workshops include stress management, substance abuse, decision making, labeling, parenting skills, domestic violence, and sexual abstinence. 

Job Skills
Cadets are trained to be Career Equipped, developing basic and relevant skills necessary to conduct job searches as their position in the community changes. They learn to outline their goals, complete a written resume, fill out employment applications, demonstrate an understanding of the importance of work ethics, and complete a mock interview. Explore knowledge and skills required to pursue future educational opportunities, to include educational alternatives, institutions and financial aid. Also complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and participate in a vocational interpretation. 

Health and Hygiene
Cadets are trained to Live Healthy.  Cadets build to understand the positive correlation between good health and hygiene habits and life-long mental, physical and emotional well-being. Cadets cover topics such as Smoking Cessation and Nutrition and Sexual Responsibility.

Responsible Citizenship
Cadet are trained to be Responsible Citizens.  Cadets 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. Cultural awareness, violence prevention, promoting justice, and the honor code are discussed in this area.

Community Service
Cadets are trained to ‘Give Back’ to their Communities.  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 Red Cross, Adopt-a-Highway, and others. Certificates and awards are given to cadets for their participation.

Leadership/Followership
Cadets are trained to be Leaders in leadership and followership capacities.  Cadets gain 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 Ceremony, and Character Development are part of this curriculum.

Physical Fitness
Cadets are trained to be Physically Healthy.  Cadets participate in an intense physical fitness training program built upon the Presidential Challenge, encouraging a lifelong commitment to physical, mental and emotional well-being. Cadets must show improvement during the five month residential program. Activities include, but are not limited to military style PT, running, and organized sports.

Wellnes Policy