Frequently Asked Questions

What ages do you accept?
Applicants must be at least 16 and no older than 18 years of age on the start date. Applicant age is determined on the day of in-processing, (no exceptions are made for those applicants 15 and younger or 19 and older ).

Is there a cost for the program?
No – The program is funded by the State of Hawaii and the Federal Government. Although parents are not required to pay tuition for  the program, some personal items may have to be purchased prior to and during the class cycle.

Is military service required upon completion of the program?
No – Although the Youth Challenge Academy is ‘quasi-military’ in structure, Cadets are not obligated nor are they expected to join a military service.

Can a student return to high school after completing the 22 week residential phase?
Yes, if the student is enrolled in the Credit Recovery pathway.  Prior to acceptance into the Credit Recovery pathway, student will need to get a referral from their Counselor and Principal approval as it is up to the student’s home school to accept the Credit Recovery credits. 

If a student is enrolled in our HiSET pathway they will be eligible to receive their High School Equivalency Diploma.  If they do successfully complete the HiSET program a student will not need to return back to high school as they would have received a diploma and are  encouraged to continue on to college. The academy assists with the college application process and even offers a limited number of earned scholarships, if the graduate so chooses.

  • Students who were classified as special education students prior to their arrival at the Youth Challenge Academy may be eligible to return to their high school and complete a high school diploma under certain circumstances. Please see your individual high school counselor for clarification of this opportunity.

What items do I bring?
Cadets only need the items noted on the packing list, which is received upon acceptance into the program via email or USPS. Only the items included on the packing list should be brought to the academy. All non-packing list items will be returned to the guardian on in-processing day.

  • Items on this list include hygiene items, letter right materials and undergarments. Most other items required will be provided by the Youth Challenge Academy

Does YCA have a wellness policy?
Yes.  Please see this link: hawaii-national-guard-youth-challenge-academy-wellnes-policy