Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy Now Accepting Applicationsfor January 2023 Class


ANNVILLE – The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy (KSCA) is accepting applications for its second class of cadets which begins in January 2023. The KSCA is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance at obtaining their basic education, learn leadership, self-discipline, and responsibility while working toward finishing their education and building a better life.  

The opening of the academy at Fort Indiantown Gap (FTIG) in Lebanon County in July 2022 formally established the National Guard Bureau’s Youth ChalleNGe Program in Pennsylvania. The program is open to 16- to 18-year-old male and female Pennsylvania residents who are failing to progress in high school or may not be on a clear path to graduating. Applicants must be willing to be drug free, free of felony convictions, and voluntarily commit to the program. The program lasts for 17 months, with the first five months consisting of residential training at FTIG followed by one year of mentorship back 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 Steve Grossman, KSCA director. “It has been a pleasure to work with the current class and see how laser focused they are on reaching their goals toward a brighter future. Many of the cadets are talking about bettering themselves through higher education, the trade industry and schools, and some even military service. It is rewarding to see the cadets so excited about the next phase of their life.”

For detailed eligibility requirements and to begin the application process, visit our Eligibility and Admissions webpage. If you prefer to have an application mailed to you or would like to talk with someone about this program, please contact the academy by emailing [email protected], or by 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 components: Academic Excellence; Physical Fitness; Leadership/Followership; Responsible Citizenship; Job Skills; Service to the Community; Health and Hygiene; and Life Coping Skills. Graduates often receive high school credits, credentials, or a GED. There is no tuition cost to attend. Meals, housing, uniforms, and school supplies are provided at no 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 nation’s most effective and cost-efficient programs for targeting youth who have dropped out of school or are at the greatest risk for not satisfactorily progressing, are unemployed or under employed.

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program currently operates 40 Youth Challenge sites in 31 states and territories. The program is both federally and state funded.

More details can be found at

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