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VOL. 40 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 17, 2016

Tennessee to offer National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has been approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to offer a National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program.

Youth ChalleNGe is a residential program for young people aged 16-18 who have dropped out of school and have no criminal record. The voluntary program gives them the opportunity to obtain a high school equivalency diploma outside of a traditional school setting.

Cadets begin with a two-week acclimation period followed by a 20-week residence phase and one-year post-residence mentoring phase.

According to the governor's office, Tennessee's program will be called the "Volunteer Youth ChalleNGe Academy."

Funding of $5.7 million was included in Gov. Bill Haslam's 2016-17 budget. The state's investment is $1.35 million with the remainder coming from federal funds. The first class should begin by mid-2017.

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