Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost to attend Battle Born Youth ChalleNGe Academy (BBYCA)?
Battle Born Youth ChalleNGe Academy, as part of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, is operated through a Cooperative Agreement between the National Guard Bureau and the State of Nevada. This means that our Program is funded by Federal and State dollars, which makes tuition absolutely free to eligible youth (including room and board). The only out-of-pocket expenses for attending BBYCA are transportation to and from the Academy; however reasonable accommodations can be made for this request. The program, which is operated by the National Guard in partnership with state and local education agencies, has been extremely successful.
How does the program operate?
Youth ChalleNGe is a residential program that incorporates a highly structured quasi-military format emphasizing self-discipline, personal responsibility, and positive motivation. Students, who are referred to as Cadets while at the Academy, must meet military grooming standards, wear military type uniforms, and observe standard military customs and courtesies. Each class involves a 3-phase program that begins with a two-week Acclimation Phase, where the goal is to identify those students that have the desire and discipline to complete the program. Students who successfully complete the Acclimation Phase, enter the 20-week Residential Phase, where the emphasis is on the “Eight Core Component” curriculum. Cadets must show improvement in each component.
Eight Core Components:
- Academic Excellence
- Leadership and Followership
- Life Coping Skills
- Job Skills
- Service to the Community
- Responsible Citizenship
- Health and Hygiene
- Physical Fitness
After completing the Residential Phase, students begin a 52-week Post-Residential Phase, where each student works with an adult role model in a one-on-one mentoring relationship. The adult mentor provides the student advice, guidance, and support to help him/her continue the positive successes and direction achieved during the Residential Phase.
It is also important to understand what the BBYCA is NOT. The BBYCA is not designed or intended to be a military academy; there is no military obligation or expectation for the students. Further, the BBYCA is not a juvenile detention center; it is not a drug or alcohol treatment center; it is not a professional child care service; and it is not a hospital, medical, or dental clinic. The Battle Born Youth ChalleNGe Academy is an approved institution, with credentialed teaching staff and trained professional support staff, supporting the educational goals and priorities of the Governor and the citizens of the State of Nevada.
What is the focus of the Academic Excellence component at BBYCA?
The academic focus at the Battle Born Youth ChalleNGe Academy is in-part:
- To increase students’ math and reading skills, as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE).
- To provide the skills and knowledge for students to retrieve up to 7 high school credits. As BBYCA is a fully accredited high school, a student within sufficient credits of the state’s graduation requirement may be able to receive a high school diploma from BBYCA.
During the Residential Phase, in addition to the credits students may earn, the also can earn 3 industry certificates: OHSHA, CPR and Food Handling. The Battle Born Youth ChalleNGe Academy partners with the Elko County School District to provide these approved academic courses. Academic credits are issued at the end of the session when the Cadet graduates from the program. There is no award of partial credit if the student withdraws from the program prior to completion of the Residential Phase. Credits earned are transcripted at the student’s next school or advanced education institution.
What if my child doesn’t want to come to the Academy?
The program is voluntary, and students from all over the State of Nevada are eligible to apply and compete for admission. Students must be a high school dropout or at risk of dropping out due to credit deficiency or other risk factors; age 15-1/2 to 18 upon entry; unemployed or underemployed; a US citizen or permanent legal resident, and resident of the State of Nevada; never convicted of a felony and have no legal action pending; free of illegal drugs at the time of enrollment; and physically and mentally able to complete the program. There is no tuition cost to attend the BBYCA.
What is the staff composition?
BBYCA staff are state employees of the Nevada Office of the Military, plus a principal and four certified teachers, under contract from the Elko County School District in Elko, NV. The staff is trained to work with at-risk youth in a residential setting and employs a “hands-off” approach that is tough and disciplined, yet caring and respectful.
What if my child wants to quit once he/she is there?
My child will not be 16 until after the first day, can you make an exception?
My child will be 19 before the first day, can you make an exception?
My child is using drugs, or I suspect he/she is, does that make him/her ineligible?
How often will I get to see my child while he/she is at the Academy?
How do I keep up-to-date on what’s happening at the Academy?
Do you have a campus closer to me?
What if I am a resident of Nevada but my child is not?
How does it work with mail and/or phone calls?
Phone calls are earned weekly, and duration is up to 20 minutes depending on your child’s rank and any disciplinary actions. Your child will be allowed to call whomever they wish or may split his/her
time between calls.
Can you accommodate my child’s dietary restrictions?
My child has learning differences or disabilities, can you meet the accommodations specified by his/her school?
Does my child have to join the military after graduation?
Will my child get his/her diploma or HiSet?
Most Cadets will earn credits and return to their home campuses on track and with the mindset to succeed at earning a diploma with their classmates.
Selected cadets will take the HiSet (high school equivalency) test. Passing the test and earning their equivalency is the ideal situation for the older students who are further behind on credits.
How important is the mentor, and what if I do not have one?
Your child will not be accepted to the Academy without a mentor. Please speak with your BBYCA Admissions Specialist for ideas on finding a mentor.
Can you accommodate my child’s religious practices?
Any accommodations your child may need regarding head coverings, facial hair, or additional time for prayers should be addressed during the application process, and there is no guarantee the accommodations will be made.
My child does not have a transcript because he/she has never been enrolled in high school.
If your child lacks a transcript because he/she has been homeschooled, please contact our principal during the application process. Your child may be required to take a placement test in order to determine eligibility.
Dr. Andre' L. Ponder