Why apply NOW to the Washington Youth Academy?
Apply NOW to make sure you are in the running for the next class. An application does not commit a youth to attend. It is a door opener. While many families and youth are seeking ways to earn credits, those who have already applied to the WYA for the opportunity to earn eight credits in 5 ½ months will be the first considered for this unique and robust opportunity.
How does the program operate?
The WYA is a 22-week residential and 52-week post-residential program. Have questions? Let us know.
The 22-week Residential Phase is a highly structured quasi-military format emphasizing self-discipline, personal responsibility and positive motivation. Youth, 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. After commencing from the program, cadets move into the 52-week post-residential phase back at home. Cadets will follow their post-residential plan, attending school/work or volunteering full-time, meeting with their WYA case manager and mentor.
The 22-week Residential Phase of the program begins with a two-week Acclimation Phase, where the goal is to identify those Candidates that have the desire and discipline to complete the program. Cadets who successfully complete the Acclimation Phase enter the 20-week Challenge Phase where the emphasis is on the “Eight Core Component” curriculum.
- Academic Excellence
- Leadership and Followership
- Life Coping Skills
- Job Skills
- Service to the Community
- Responsible Citizenship
- Health and Hygiene
- Physical Fitness
Where is the WYA located and can I visit the campus?
The Academy is located at 1207 Carver Street, Bremerton, WA 98312. This is also the mailing address. Our campus is closed to visitors. Please click on the Virtual Information Sessions Tab to sign up for our next Zoom Session.
Who is eligible to attend the WYA?
Any Washington State resident that meets the eligibility criteria.
- Volunteer for the program.
- 16-18 years old (must be 16 by the first day and cannot turn 19 before the start of the program).
- High school dropout or at risk of dropping out due to credit deficiency.
- A resident of Washington State and a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- Unemployed or underemployed.
- Free of felony charges and no pending court proceedings.
- Willing to be free from use of illegal drugs or substances while enrolled in the program.
- Physically and mentally capable to participate in the program with reasonable accommodation for physical and other disabilities.
What is the cost to attend Washington Youth Academy (WYA)?
$0 - There is no tuition cost for attending this program.
The Washington Youth Academy, as part of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, is operated through a Cooperative Agreement between the National Guard Bureau and Washington state. This means it is funded by federal and state dollars making tuition absolutely free to eligible youth. The Academy receives its base budget through Department of Defense appropriations (75%) and OSPI school apportionment funding (25%).
What is the academic focus at the WYA?
To increase cadets’ math and reading skills, as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE).
To provide the skills and knowledge for applicants to retrieve up to 8 high school credits.
During the Residential Phase, applicants may earn up to eight high school credits in Social Studies, Science, Math, English, Health/Fitness, Physical Education, Career Technical Education and Service to Community. The Washington Youth Academy contracts with the Bremerton School District to provide approved academic courses. Academic credits are issued at the end of the session when the cadet commences from the program. The WYA doesn’t offer diplomas or GED opportunities. Applicants return to their home high schools with additional credit than can use to earn their diploma.
What does a typical day look like at the Washington Youth Academy?
- 4:45 a.m. Wake-up
- 5:00-6:15 Physical Training (PT)
- 6:15-8:25 Morning Activities
- Shower and Hygiene
- Platoon Bay Maintenance
- Personal Time
- 8:30 a.m. - 3:40 p.m. Academic Instruction with a lunch break
- 3:45-6:30 Afternoon Activities
- Personal Time
- Mail call
- 6:30-7:30 Small Unit or Platoon Activity
- 7:30-8:45 Evening Activities
- Platoon Bay Maintenance
- Decompression & Reflection Time
- 8:45 p.m. Lights Out- Followed by 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep time.
View some of the potential cadet ribbons earned by cadets and their platoons.
Is there an obligation to enlist in the military after attending the WYA?
No. There is no military obligation or expectation.
This program is not designed or intended to be a military academy or boot camp. The program is an academic intervention, reclaiming the potential of at-risk youth.
Is the WYA a drug treatment or juvenile rehabilitation center?
No. The WYA is not juvenile detention or drug/alcohol treatment center.
Applicants must be willing to live drug-free while in residence at the WYA. Random drug testing is performed. Applicants are required to have all pending and legal obligations completed, including diversions and deferred dispositions. Applicants can be on probation for a misdemeanor or minor offence. Applicants who have been charged and convicted of a felony are not eligible to apply.
Can I enroll and force my child to attend the WYA?
No. The WYA is a volunteer program.
Applicants must be willing to participate in the WYA. Parents can’t force attendance. Courts do not order applicants to attend the WYA.
How does the mentoring program work?
Each youth who applies to the Academy must submit the name of an adult who will act as their mentor during the 22-week residential phase and the 52-week post-residential phase — basically an 18-month commitment. This is a mandatory requirement for admission and applicant cannot start the program until a mentor is identified. The mentor plays a critical role in the Cadet’s short and long-term success in completing the Academy and moving on to become a responsible and productive citizen. Mentoring is a positive one-on-one relationship between a youth and an adult that provides emotional support, advice, and guidance to help the younger person deal with the challenge life. Mentors assist applicants with goal setting and career exploration. More info here.
What awards has the Youth Academy won?
- Designated Innovative School--Legislature and OSPI (2011)
- State Audit for School Programs (2011): “No findings”
- NGB audit (2012): score 96% of 100%, “top program”
- CNA studies 2012-16 non-cognitive skills/cognitive skills
- 1000th Graduate June 2013, 2000th December 2016
- NGB CORE Audit (2015): “Outstanding” evaluation rating
- DFAC received HUSSC Bronze Award (2015)
- NGYF “Teacher of the Year” Award (2015)
- Governor’s Distinguished Manager Award (2016)
- Team “Extra Mile Award” (2016)
- FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award (Honorable Mention for training every cadet CERT guidelines) (2017)
- KCTS "Golden Apple" Teaching award. (2020)