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Youth Academy graduates record number of cadets

12.22.14 — A record number of cadets graduated from the Washington Youth Academy on Saturday, Dec. 20 Read More »

Seattle Times celebrates Youth Academy graduate

12.16.14 — CyCy Ocampo of Tacoma struggled to find her place in the world until she received support from a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound organization – and a nudge in the right direction from the Washington Youth Academy in Bremerton. Read More »

Youth Academy graduate helping to start JROTC program in Kennewick

12.16.14 — A graduate of the Washington Youth Academy is helping to start a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at his high school in Kennewick. Read More »

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Youth Academy changing lives

Teachers are making a difference at the Washington Youth Academy. Read More »

Washington Youth Academy

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

The Washington Youth Academy is a division of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. Established under authority of both federal and state law, the WYA is 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 Washington Youth Academy is a quasi-military training and mentoring program for at-risk youth. The goal of the program is to give youth a second chance to become responsible and productive citizens by helping them improve their life skills, education levels, and employment potential.

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.

Putting Lives Back on Track

Program graduates can recover up to 8.0 credits (approximately 1.3 years of high school credits). The goal is to return graduates to their home high school to graduate on time with their peers.

The WYA includes a 22-week intensive residential phase and a 52-week (one year) post-residential phase where the youth receives intense mentoring and placement follow-up. A class cycle is 154 days, including up to 7 days for home pass and placement activities for the post-residential phase. Placement activities include job search, educational appointments, vocational/technical training, a return to high school classes or full-time volunteerism.

Program activities include academics, service to community, leadership, mentoring and personal development. A number of small unit training and educational enhancement activities supplement the program including an additional 7th period in the academic program to assist individuals in need of extra assistance and limited special education services.

The facility's address is 1207 Carver Street, Bremerton, WA 98312. However, anyone from the state of Washington may apply.

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What does the Washington Youth Academy do?
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What does the Washington Youth Academy do?

The Washington Youth Academy is giving a second chance to youths who have dropped out of high school or are on their verge of dropping out. Here's a quick look at what the academy in Bremerton has to offer.

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How the Youth Academy changed this cadet's life
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How the Youth Academy changed this cadet's life

Cadet Danielle Drake of Bellingham talks about how the Youth Academy shaped her future and gave her a second chance. She graduated on Dec. 20, 2014.

“I hated every minute of training, but one thing I always told myself was ‘Don’t quit and live the rest of your life as a champion,’” she said. “… We have lived an unforgettable life-changing event that has made us stronger mentally and physically.”

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Youth Academy attracting cadets from Eastern Wash.
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Youth Academy attracting cadets from Eastern Wash.

Youth Academy is not just for those in Western Washington. KREM News in Spokane takes a special look at the impacts the program has in Eastern Washington, as well.

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Cadet says he was 'petrified' but was given the 'tools to deal with the good and the bad.'
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Cadet says he was 'petrified' but was given the 'tools to deal with the good and the bad.'

Testimony from Cadet Cody Jones at his graduation ceremony in 2009.

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