Frequently Asked Questions

To answer your questions as quickly as possible, we’ve compiled a list of those most frequently asked by parents of students and prospective students. We’ll do all we can to make sure you’re well-informed and prepared to support your child through a successful journey.


What if my child doesn’t want to come to the Academy?

Battle Born Youth ChalleNGe Academy (BBYCA), like all ChalleNGe programs, is voluntary. While your child does not need to be over-the-moon excited to attend, he/she must be willing. Our cadets are not incarcerated and will not be treated as such; we can not and will not keep them here against their will.

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What if my child wants to quit once he/she is there?

BBYCA is a voluntary program; however, we do not easily give up on cadets once they have been accepted. There will be a multi-step intervention plan to redirect behaviors and address the cadet’s needs so that they are more likely to stay.

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My child will not be 16 until after the first day. Can you make an exception?

Unfortunately, the age restrictions are non-negotiable. Your child may start the application process before turning 16, but students cannot attend until their 16th birthday or after.

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My child will be 19 before the first day. Can you make an exception?

Unfortunately, the age restrictions are non-negotiable. Your child is not eligible to attend BBYCA unless he/she is 16, 17, or 18 on the first day.

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My child is using drugs (or I suspect he/she is) does that make him/her ineligible?

We understand some applicants may not currently be living a drug-free lifestyle, but we still encourage them to apply. We have a zero-tolerance policy for drug use while at the Academy, and candidates and cadets must be willing to be drug-free while they are with us. We will test your son or daughter with weekly urinalysis drug screenings once they have had the opportunity to get clean.

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How often will I get to see my child while he/she is at the Academy?

Except for unforeseen circumstances, you will see your son or daughter twice during the 22-week residential phase. We will have a family day on campus on or around week 10. Additionally, you will pick up your child for a five-day pass later in the program (over Easter or Thanksgiving weekends, depending on the cycle). We’ll share the details at the beginning of each cycle.

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Do you have a campus closer to me?

Nevada has only one ChalleNGe program. The campus is in Carlin, Nevada.

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What if I am a resident of Nevada but my child is not?

Your child may apply as long as he/she has a Nevada address and a person in Nevada who is willing to accept responsibility for him/her in the event of an emergency, prolonged illness, or dismissal.

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How does it work with mail and/or phone calls?

The more mail the better! We encourage you to write to each other as frequently as possible. We pass out mail in the evenings and require cadets to open all mail in front of a staff member to ensure there is no contraband inside the envelope. We review pictures for appropriateness but do not read or censor letters. Please keep in mind that interference with the mail is a federal offense, so your child will be allowed to send and receive mail from anyone unless there is a court order saying otherwise.

Cadets earn phone calls weekly, the duration ranging from two to 15 minutes long, depending on their rank and any disciplinary actions. Cadets may call whomever they wish and may split their time between calls.

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Can you accommodate my child’s dietary restrictions?

In most cases, yes. Parents/guardians must disclose the cadet’s food allergies and other dietary restrictions during the application process so our food services manager has time to plan accordingly. We can easily accommodate vegetarian, food allergies/sensitivities, and pork-free diets. Please note that we require medical documentation for food allergies or sensitivities.

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My child has learning differences or disabilities. Can you meet the accommodations specified by his/her school?

Yes. Individual Education Plans (IEPs), 504 Accommodations, behavior improvement plans, and/or full and individual evaluations must be submitted during the application process so our principal and special education teacher have time to plan accordingly.

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Does my child have to join the military after graduation?

No. We will likely have military recruiters as guest speakers at some point in the cycle, but there is no obligation for your child to speak with them or to pursue enlistment. Each cadet will take the ASVAB; however, it is used primarily as a career-exploration tool as opposed to a step for enlistment.

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Will my child get his/her diploma or HiSet?

That depends on your child, his/her academic history, and his/her progress at the Academy. Classes are online and self-paced. As such, cadets will earn credits at different rates. If your child is within five or six credits of completing a diploma, chances are good he/she will earn it if they don’t waste time in the classroom.

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 equivalency test and earning the HiSet is ideal for older students who are further behind on credits.

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How important is the mentor, and what if I do not have one?

Your child’s mentor is instrumental in his/her success after leaving the program. The mentor is responsible for maintaining a relationship with your child and holding him/her accountable for the goals he/she set while at the Academy. The mentor serves as another caring adult in your child’s life and will stay in contact with BBYCA staff for a full year following graduation from the residential phase.

We will not accept your child into the Academy without a mentor. Please speak with your BBYCA admissions specialist for ideas on finding a mentor.

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Can you accommodate my child’s religious practices?

In most cases, yes. After acclimation, cadets may have a religious text of their choosing. There is designated quiet time most evenings and a couple of hours each Sunday devoted to reflection. We invite local religious leaders to our campus during the Sunday reflection time, and your child may participate in this worship if he/she chooses to do so.

Please address any accommodations your child may need regarding head coverings, facial hair, or additional time for prayers during the application process; we do not guarantee we will make every accommodation.

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My child does not have a transcript because he/she has never been enrolled in high school.

All applicants must be eligible to enroll in high school level coursework. This means they must have completed the eighth grade and be eligible for promotion to ninth grade. In this case, please provide a middle school transcript.

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 to determine eligibility.

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