> history
> core objectives
> statistics
> cost analysis
> cadet qualifications
> resident phase
> post resident phase
> community service
> scholarships


about the challenge

The Illinois National Guard's Lincoln's ChalleNGe Academy (LCA) is a federally-funded youth program for 16 to 18 year old at-risk youth. LCA's mission is to train, mentor, and develop selected applicants into contributing members of their communities by providing life application skills through a variety of activities based on the 8-core objectives. LCA's vision for the future is to mold the youth of today to meet the challenges of tomorrow, armed with the values and integrity of our forefathers and the strength of one nation.


LCA is a 17-month, two-phased, military modeled training program. Phase I is the Resident Phase in which the youths (referred to as cadets) are in residence at the LCA site for 22 weeks and are aided in attaining their General Educational Development (G.E.D.) and valuable life skills. Phase II is the Post Resident Phase which occurs after the Resident Phase. The youth is assigned a mentor from their community. The role of the mentor is to provide the cadet with a positive role model to reinforce and continue development. Contact between mentor and youth is maintained for 12 months and is monitored and supported by the program's Regional Offices.

gps tracking for kids

Use of a quasi-military environment incorporating discipline, esprit-de-corps, leadership, and teamwork is producing rapid and effective change in individual behaviors and attitude. For many young men and women, participation in the Lincoln's Challenge Academy has been the deciding factor in assisting them to reorient their lives toward healthy, productive goals and relationships. LCA is right for the individual looking to:

  • lead others
  • learn self-discipline
  • develop skills that will help them get and keep a job
  • work toward a General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.)
  • be eligible for up to a $2,200 stipend and $1,000 scholarship

There are only a few times in life when you get a second chance. The Lincoln's Challenge Academy is one of them. In five months the cadet can learn new skills that can change their life. The program isn't easy, and it isn't for everyone. The cadets put in long days and have little free time. Every day the cadets are challenged mentally and physically. Is it worth it to them? Only they can decide.

Since 1993, Lincoln's Challenge Academy has been seeing extraordinary results; over 5,000 youth have successfully completed the program. At left are some links to the facts and figures that prove that LCA is making a difference.