Residential Phase - 22 Weeks
Pre-Challenge consist of the first two weeks of the program and precedes the Residential Phase. This two week period orients Candidates to the Challenge program environment by allowing them to adjust to the physical, mental and social discipline required to successfully complete the program. The focus is on teamwork, close quarter drill, code of conduct, leadership and followership, and physical fitness training. Candidates relinquish personal items, receive haircuts, and exchange their street clothes for uniforms, placing them all on a level playing field. During Pre-Challenge, staff members continually assess each Candidate’s potential for success in the Residential Phase. Candidates learn to replace negative behaviors, attitudes, and skills and are introduced to daily experiences of healthy routines and a structured and disciplined environment. At the end of Pre-Challenge motivated Candidates are selected to enroll in Challenge and become Cadets. Historically, the majority of the selected Cadets will go on to successfully complete the Residential Phase.
During the Residential Phase, Cadets experience a structured and disciplined schedule that focuses on developing their social, emotional, academic, and basic life skills. This is accomplished through the implementation of the Eight Core Components, the foundation of the Challenge program intervention model. Cadets complete the Residential Phase with the skills and values necessary for their successful transition and integration into adult society. Mentors are matched with Cadets midway through the Residential Phase. The mentors help support the Cadets during the remainder of the Residential Phase and help them prepare to reenter community life. Mentors continue their responsibilities during the 12-month Post-Residential Phase.