“Go to school, pay attention and do your school work” was the never-ending mantra my parents chanted during my upbringing. For some time, my naiveté allowed me to think that that is all one has to do in order to be successful in school, but there are more variables to the 3-part formula my parents instilled in me – grit being one of the variables.
Courage and resolve; strength of character
Every student has a different experience in school and different external factors that could either encourage your academic success or hinder your ability to excel in school. If the latter is your reality, what can help you overcome the hindrance? Grit! Where could you go to hone your grittiness? The Alaska Military Youth Academy (AMYA) ChalleNGe Program!
The Alaska Military Youth Academy's (AMYA) ChalleNGe Program, one of 35 award-winning programs nationwide, was established as a community-based program that leads, trains, and mentors 16 to 18-year-old Alaskans who have left high school without receiving a credential. The Youth ChalleNGe program is a quasi-military, 17 ½ month residential and non-residential high school. AMYA is regionally accredited by AdvancED-Northwest Accreditation Commission, and is located on Joint Base Elmendorf - Richardson (JBER). AMYA provides a drug, alcohol, and tobacco free learning environment.
Deborah Morton, Recruiting/Placement/Mentoring Supervisor, AMYA, writes:
“Cadets are instructed in the following areas: Life Coping Skills, Academic Excellence, Job Skills, Responsible Citizenship, Leadership/Followership, Health & Hygiene, Physical Fitness, and Service to Community. In addition to these skills, cadets work toward the completion of a GED, High School Diploma or credit recovery.
AMYA offers the Everfi Radius-STEM Readiness educational program, Department of Labor WorkKeys testing, ACPE job readiness classes including AKCIS instruction, and SAT testing to eligible participants of the program. Participants can also earn their Alaska Host Customer Service Essentials, OSHA 10, and Food Workers Card certificates of completion while in the program. AMYA also has a Cadet to Work Pre-Apprenticeship program with community partners such as Alaska Works Partnerships, to provide classroom and hands-on Vocational Technical trainings.”
The program is tuition FREE! To qualify, you must be between the ages of 16 and 18 on the start of the cycle (the next cycle starts next March). You must be in need of a high school education; either not enrolled in high school or a GED program or at risk of not graduating with your peers (behind in credits, enrolled and not attending, failing out, finding it difficult to learn in a traditional high school setting).
When you apply to the program, they identify potential mentors for you from the local community. Mentors are formally screened and trained prior to ceremonial matching with their mentees. Once formally matched, you and your mentor are allowed to spend off-site time together, often performing service to the community or exploring job and school options. Acceptance to the program is based on a first come, first served basis. The next cycle starts next March. If you are interested click here and an admissions counselor will contact you.
ACPE will be collaborating with AMYA during this Fall cycle and will present on various topics such as: postsecondary options, job searching skills, ethics, and financial aid. For more information about AMYA, click here to view a quick video about their services.