Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy

Our next class starts on Jan. 13, 2025. We are consistently receiving a larger-than-normal application volume for the next class. Admission to the program is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Accepting applications NOW.


The Mission of the Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy is to provide a highly disciplined, safe, and professional learning environment that empowers at-risk youth to improve their educational level and employment potential and become responsible and productive Washingtonians.

The Academy envisions a world where young adults are equipped and respected as equal partners in building resilience in their families and communities. This is a FREE Life Intervention-Credit Retrieval program where any eligible resident of Washington state willing to live in housing provided on campus in Bremerton, Washington for five months can immerse themselves in a focused approach for getting back on track in school and better equipped for life.

Limited visitors on campus, by appointment ONLY.


The Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy is a division of the Washington Military Department and aligns with the department’s mission and responsibilities. The program is essential in meeting the Department’s mission of protecting lives and communities, as the WYCA enhances resiliency in communities through an alternative education experience for youth.

The WYCA is a National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Programestablished under authority of both federal and state law. A state-run residential and post-residential intervention for youth who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out, the WYCA partners with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Schools to address the need Washington public schools have for focused dropout reclamation and prevention. The Washington Youth ChalleNGe Academy combines a quasi-military training approach with supportive mentoring relationships ensuring the intervention we provide has a long-term impact. The program improves life skills, education level and employment potential providing at-risk youth every opportunity to become responsible and productive citizens.

The program incorporates a highly-structured format with an emphasis on student discipline and personal responsibility to provide a positive, safe and secure learning environment.


Program graduates can recover up to 8.0 credits (approximately 1.3 years of high school credits). Credits are approved by OSPI and taught by certificated teachers. The goal is to return graduates to their home high school to graduate on time with their peers and pursue post-secondary educational or vocational goals.

The WYCA includes a 22-week intensive residential phase and a two year post-residential phase where the youth receives intense mentoring and placement follow-up. A class cycle is 147 days, including up to 4 days for home pass and “Launch Placement” activities in preparation for the post-residential phase. “Launch Placement” activities include job search, educational appointments, vocational/technical training, a return to high school classes or full-time volunteerism. Residential phase activities include academics, service to community, leadership, mentoring and personal development. A number of small unit clubs and educational enhancement activities complement training activities, including an additional seventh period in the academic design to empower individuals in need of extra assistance and limited special education services.

Anyone 15-18 years old from the state of Washington who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, permanent resident alien or green card holder may apply.

Youth Academy Foundation

The Washington Youth Academy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation registered in the State of Washington, EIN 26-2771686, which solely benefits the cadets and operates a family and friends support group, among other services. Learn more online https://www.wyafoundation.org/

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement: This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Read more here.

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