Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy aims to cut cost and add students with move to the Keaukaha Military Reservation

Posted on Feb 4, 2013 in In The News

The Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy is currently making a relocation of one of its campuses from Kulani to Keaukaha Military Reservation on the island of Hawaii.  The move will provide a cost savings that directly translates into the potential for increasing the number of cadets allowed into the program and the option to hire more staff to balance the increase in cadets.  A large source of the savings acquired will be in the form of utilities cost.

“During dry seasons at Kulani when the water reservoir is low, the water has to be trucked up to the campus for cadets and staff to use and involves extra cost that is beyond the regular maintenance cost of the reservoir,” said Rick Campbell, YCA Director.

The more remote location in Kulani also requires more lighting to illuminate the campus.

“With the security system being on constantly for the safety and security of the cadets, paired with the lighting, the monthly electric bill is extremely high,” expressed Campbell.

Relocating the academy to KMR provides a safer environment for the cadets and staff at the YCA.  In Kulani, the campus is located at a higher elevation in a Natural Area Reserve (NAR) and allows public in the nearby reserves.  Because of the remote location and any unpredictable encounters, YCA staff provides security services to cadets and facility property that falls outside their main duties of mentoring and instruction of students.

“Changing the YCA location to KMR grants access to the in place National Guard members already employed at KMR for additional support when needed,” said Campbell.

In addition, the move also puts the YCA in Hilo, and provides easier, more local access to medical facilities if they are needed at any given time.

The YCA provides 16 to 18 year old cadets with life skills and educational tools.  The program is designed to enable non-traditional teenage students to learn how to respect themselves, others and learn the value of a good education in a 22 week timeline.  The latest cycle of cadets started the program in January in two locations.  Hawaii is one of a few states that provide two YCA programs.  The Kulani campus houses the second academy to ensure that the program is retained, and the funding associated with the second campus is maximized.  In addition to the Kulani campus, the Kalaeloa campus is located on the island of Oahu.