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Eligibility and Admissions



The first class session will begin in July 2022. Applications for admissions began January 2022. If selected, students will attend the 22-week residential phase at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville, Pa. (Lebanon County). 


​You May Qualify for Admission if You Are

  • Between 16 and 18 years of age on the first day of the Residential Phase. 
  • At risk of not graduating from high school, or no longer attending any school and has not received a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. 
  • A citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and Pennsylvania  
  • Not under indictment, or ever convicted of a felony (or any crime that would be a felony if perpetrated by an adult), and not currently on parole or probation for other than juvenile status offenses or misdemeanors. 
  • Willing to be free from the illegal use of drug or substances, alcohol, and tobacco products
  • Physically and mentally capable to fully participate with reasonable accommodations
  • Able to communicate sufficiently with program staff to participate safely in the program 

Other considerations are that you must: 

  • Volunteer to apply. You cannot be court-ordered to attend
  • Possess a desire to improve yourself and learn in a demanding environment
  • Be determined by the staff to be a good candidate for the program 




​How Cadets Benefit

KSCA’s structured environment reduces the hurdles faced by teenagers so they can focus on their academic progress, emotional well-being, and physical fitness improvement. The 22-week Residential Phase is a voluntary, coeducational academic experience offering cadets a chance to establish a clear path to success as they begin their transition into adulthood.

  • Provide a safe, secure and structured learning environment to help Cadets improve their academic standing
  • Coach and mentor Cadets in study skills, life skills and career readiness skills
  • Provide Cadets the tools and self-discipline to succeed as productive citizens
  • Guide and plan each cadet’s transition into the post-residency options of continued education or employment
  • Improve the intellectual, physical and mental stamina of each cadet
  • Cadets will live and learn in newly renovated barracks, classrooms and common spaces, to include a new multipurpose building with gymnasium, dining facility and medical office. 

The Eight Core Components 

​​The KSCA will offer Cadets a foundational and supportive educational environment focused on Eight Core Components reinforced through a military-style training and learning environment.

​★ ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
Cadets will take core academic courses under the guidance of certified teachers in the classroom. Our goal is to enhance each Cadet’s academic performance to earn a GED and High School Equivalency Degree or to recover high school academic credits.

 ★ RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP
Cadets will actively learn about the duties and responsibilities of citizenship to include political participation, selective service registration, and how to be an engaged member of society. Cadets will live by the honor code of not lying, cheating or stealing or tolerating those that do.

★ LIFE COPING SKILLS
Cadets will explore and practice the skills needed to assist their transition to life after residency at the Academy. Our goal is to have Cadets confident in financial, mental, and emotional techniques to prepare them for adult life.

★ SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
These activities complement the followership component, as Cadets will perform at least 40 hours of service projects in and around the community to encourage volunteerism, active citizenship and exposure to career opportunities.

★ JOB SKILLS
Cadets will actively work to prepare for the post-residential phase through career and education exploration, resume building, and mock interviews. Cadets will be exposed to potential career and technical opportunities for future employment. 

★ LEADERSHIP & FOLLOWERSHIP
Each Cadet is coached in leadership techniques then placed in key leadership positions to put plans into practice, getting routine feedback from the staff and cadre. Cadets are coached on supportive followership to encourage both Cadet and team success.

​★ HEALTH AND HYGIENE
Cadets will be coached in making responsible choices to encourage physical and emotional well-being. Healthy lifestyle choices and consequences about nutrition, hygiene and alcohol and tobacco usage will be explored to inform all Cadets

★ PHYSICAL TRAINING
Daily strength, flexibility and endurance activities will enhance each Cadet’s physical readiness, see continued improvement, and encourage a life-long commitment to physical fitness





​Applying for Admission

Student application
By applying to the KSCA you are taking a big step in the direction of a brighter future. Our anticipated opening date for our inaugural class is July 2022. We are excited to see the first class of over 120 of Pennsylvania’s teens work to reset their lives and return to a path of success. The second class session will begin in January 2023. 

Please review the Eligibility Criteria to ensure that the potential cadet is qualified to attend the KSCA. The admissions process will require a completed application with supporting documentation from the applicant’s home school district, and an orientation plus interview of both the applicant and parent or guardian 

If you are interested in talking to someone about this opportunity, please contact us via email at RA-MVPACHALLENGE@pa.gov, or by calling 717-861-7767 or 717-861-8831

Thank you for your interest in the Keystone ChalleNGe Academy. Please download and complete the application for admission. You may fill it out by printing and filling it out with black ink. Please email the completed application to: RA-MVPACHALLENGE@pa.gov, or send by mail to: 

Admissions Department
Keystone State Challenge Academy
Bldg. 0-13 Fort Indiantown Gap
Annville, PA 17003



If I was back at home, I probably still would have bad grades. Here at the Youth Academy, the Cadre really care about you and they push. We've built really strong relationships here, and at a normal High School you don't do that. 
-Shantelle, Washington Youth Challenge Academy Student






Learn more today!
Email or call us to talk more!
 Send us an email!
 Call: 717-861-7767 or 717-861-8831 

Keystone State Challenge Academy, Bldg 0-13, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003


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