ChalleNGe uses a Youth Initiated Mentoring match. When applicants apply to the program, they identify potential Mentors from their local community. Mentors are formally screened and trained prior to ceremonial matching with their Mentees to begin fostering their newly defined relationship and communication about the Cadet‘s future plans.
Once formally matched, the Cadet and Mentor are allowed to spend off-site time together, often performing service to the community or exploring job and school options. The mentoring relationship forms the core of a youth‘s Post-Residential ChalleNGe experience. It is within the safety of this relationship that a young person can evaluate what was learned in ChalleNGe and apply it to real life.
The 12-month Post-Residential Phase begins when graduates return to their communities, to return to high school, pursue higher education, find a job, join the military, or volunteer at least 30 hours a week. The goal of this Phase is for graduates to sustain and build on the gains made during the Residential Phase. In addition, they must continue to develop and implement their life plans.
The mentors, matched with cadets during the Residential Phase, play a critical role in ensuring their continued success. They help youth transition from the structured environment of the Residential Phase to self-management. The mentors also support and guide the cadets through implementation of their Life Plans.
“The mission of the National Guard Alaska Military Youth Academy ChalleNGe Program is to help intervene in and reclaim the lives of Alaska’s at-risk youth and produce graduates with the values, skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults.”