Commonwealth ChalleNGe Archive

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — Staff from the Winchester-based STARBASE Academy traveled to Virginia Beach to provide hands-on instruction to more than 60 sons and daughters of Virginia National Guard Airmen and Soldiers at the Virginia National Guard’s 14th Annual Youth Camp July 27 – Aug. 2, 2019, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. The Youth Camp provides educational, […]

    STARBASE staff provide STEM instruction to VNG Youth Camp, ChalleNGe cadets

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — Staff from the Winchester-based STARBASE Academy traveled to Virginia Beach to provide hands-on instruction to more than 60 sons and daughters of Virginia National Guard Airmen and Soldiers at the Virginia National Guard’s 14th Annual Youth Camp July 27 – Aug. 2, 2019, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. The Youth Camp provides educational, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia– For many cadets in the Virginia National Guard Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, the 20-week residential portion of the program is an opportunity to pursue credit recovery and return to high school. For some, they spend their time preparing to take the GED exam at the end of the course. But for some cadets, two new programs offer […]

    Partnerships with TCC, ABC offer ChalleNGe cadets new options upon graduation

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia– For many cadets in the Virginia National Guard Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, the 20-week residential portion of the program is an opportunity to pursue credit recovery and return to high school. For some, they spend their time preparing to take the GED exam at the end of the course. But for some cadets, two new programs offer […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Twice a year the Virginia National Guard Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduates cadets from the five and a half month long residential portion of the program. But when the cadets take off their uniforms and return home, they don’t stop being cadets. Instead they transition to the 12-month, non-residential portion of the program. And just because […]

    Mentors provide valuable guidance to ChalleNGe cadets

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Twice a year the Virginia National Guard Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduates cadets from the five and a half month long residential portion of the program. But when the cadets take off their uniforms and return home, they don’t stop being cadets. Instead they transition to the 12-month, non-residential portion of the program. And just because […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy transitioned 140 candidates to cadets during a ceremony Oct. 12, 2018, at Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “I want you all to think about what you’ve accomplished today,” Mark Chicoine, director of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, told the newly-minted cadets. “You’ve gone through acclimation, […]

    ChalleNGe Class 50 candidates transition to cadets during induction ceremony

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy transitioned 140 candidates to cadets during a ceremony Oct. 12, 2018, at Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “I want you all to think about what you’ve accomplished today,” Mark Chicoine, director of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, told the newly-minted cadets. “You’ve gone through acclimation, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Richmond, Va.  — The Virginia Department of Military Affairs conducted its second Supervisor Course Sept. 18-20, 2018, at Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. The three-day course focused on teaching supervisors how to manage state staff, with an emphasis on state human resources and safety requirements, pay and benefits management, evaluations and discipline. It included practical training on […]

    DMA hosts second supervisors course at SMR

    Richmond, Va.  — The Virginia Department of Military Affairs conducted its second Supervisor Course Sept. 18-20, 2018, at Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. The three-day course focused on teaching supervisors how to manage state staff, with an emphasis on state human resources and safety requirements, pay and benefits management, evaluations and discipline. It included practical training on […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 91 cadets from Class 49 during a ceremony Aug. 25, 2018, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Walt Mercer, chief operations officer for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs, joined Mark Chicoine, director of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, in congratulating the cadets on finishing the […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe graduates 91 from Class 49

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 91 cadets from Class 49 during a ceremony Aug. 25, 2018, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Walt Mercer, chief operations officer for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs, joined Mark Chicoine, director of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, in congratulating the cadets on finishing the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH– The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy welcomed back alumni at a 25th anniversary alumni reunion July 28, 2018, at Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. The event, which was conducted in coordination with family day for the current class, Class 49, provided alumni with the opportunity to meet with current staff and leadership, learn about the […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe welcomes back alumni for 25th anniversary reunion

    VIRGINIA BEACH– The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy welcomed back alumni at a 25th anniversary alumni reunion July 28, 2018, at Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. The event, which was conducted in coordination with family day for the current class, Class 49, provided alumni with the opportunity to meet with current staff and leadership, learn about the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Four Cadets from Class 49 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy earned their General Equivalency Diplomas, and were accepted into an apprenticeship program with the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Cadets McAllister from Richmond, Pate from Newport News, White from Norfolk and Fuzi from Manassas earned their GEDs over a month before […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe Cadets earn GEDs early, accepted to apprenticeship program

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Four Cadets from Class 49 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy earned their General Equivalency Diplomas, and were accepted into an apprenticeship program with the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Cadets McAllister from Richmond, Pate from Newport News, White from Norfolk and Fuzi from Manassas earned their GEDs over a month before […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 115 cadets from Class 48 in a ceremony held March 3, 2018, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cadets spent five-and-a-half months in residence at the Commonwealth ChalleNGe Academy and will begin the 12 month post-residential phase where they will work to find employment, continue […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe graduates 115 cadets from Class 48

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 115 cadets from Class 48 in a ceremony held March 3, 2018, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cadets spent five-and-a-half months in residence at the Commonwealth ChalleNGe Academy and will begin the 12 month post-residential phase where they will work to find employment, continue […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Congressman Scott Taylor stopped by the Virginia National Guard’s Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy Feb. 12, 2018, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Taylor first met with the program’s director, retired Navy Capt. Mark Chicoine, Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Director of the Joint Staff for the Virginia National Guard, and Lt. Col. Timothy […]

    Congressman Scott Taylor talks mentorship with Commonwealth ChalleNGe cadets

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Congressman Scott Taylor stopped by the Virginia National Guard’s Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy Feb. 12, 2018, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Taylor first met with the program’s director, retired Navy Capt. Mark Chicoine, Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Director of the Joint Staff for the Virginia National Guard, and Lt. Col. Timothy […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 116 cadets from Class 47 in a ceremony held Aug. 26, 2017, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Maj . Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia; Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Director of the Joint Staff of the Virginia National Guard; and retired […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe Class 47 graduates 116 cadets

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 116 cadets from Class 47 in a ceremony held Aug. 26, 2017, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Maj . Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia; Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Director of the Joint Staff of the Virginia National Guard; and retired […]

    Continue Reading...

  • FORT STORY, Va. — Rappel masters of the Fort Pickett-based 1st Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute helped candidates from the Commonwealth ChalleNGe rappel down a 40-foot tower April 8, 2017, at Fort Story, Virginia. Commonwealth ChalleNGe is the Virginia component of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, a five and a half month residential program which focuses on preparing […]

    Rappel masters help ChalleNGe cadets overcome fears

    FORT STORY, Va. — Rappel masters of the Fort Pickett-based 1st Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute helped candidates from the Commonwealth ChalleNGe rappel down a 40-foot tower April 8, 2017, at Fort Story, Virginia. Commonwealth ChalleNGe is the Virginia component of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, a five and a half month residential program which focuses on preparing […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 101 cadets during a commencement ceremony for Class 46 March 4, 2017, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves, who represents the 17th District, was the guest speaker. Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Director of the Joint Staff for the Virginia National Guard, […]

    Commonwealth Challenge graduates get back on track

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 101 cadets during a commencement ceremony for Class 46 March 4, 2017, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves, who represents the 17th District, was the guest speaker. Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Director of the Joint Staff for the Virginia National Guard, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • CAMP PENDLETON , Va. –The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy hosted a career fair Feb. 19, 2016, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, as well as a parent workshop Feb. 19 and a mentor workshop Feb. 20 in Virginia Beach, Va. Commonwealth ChalleNGe is the Virginia component of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, which focuses on preparing teenagers who […]

    ChalleNGe hosts career fair, parent & mentor workshops as cadets prepare to graduate

    CAMP PENDLETON , Va. –The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy hosted a career fair Feb. 19, 2016, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, as well as a parent workshop Feb. 19 and a mentor workshop Feb. 20 in Virginia Beach, Va. Commonwealth ChalleNGe is the Virginia component of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, which focuses on preparing teenagers who […]

    Continue Reading...

  • CAMP PENDLETON, Va. – Members of Class 44 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy transitioned from candidates to cadets during a ceremony Oct. 15, 2015, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, Va. Col. Paul F. Griffin, Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff, and retired Navy Capt. Mark Chicoine, director of Commonwealth ChalleNGe, were on hand to congratulate […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe Class 44 transitions from candidates to cadets

    CAMP PENDLETON, Va. – Members of Class 44 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy transitioned from candidates to cadets during a ceremony Oct. 15, 2015, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, Va. Col. Paul F. Griffin, Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff, and retired Navy Capt. Mark Chicoine, director of Commonwealth ChalleNGe, were on hand to congratulate […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 92 cadets during a commencement ceremony for Class 43 Aug. 22, 2015, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Dr. Michelle Woodhouse, provost of the Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus of Tidewater Community College, was the guest speaker. Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, […]

    Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy Class 43 graduates 92 cadets

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 92 cadets during a commencement ceremony for Class 43 Aug. 22, 2015, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Dr. Michelle Woodhouse, provost of the Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus of Tidewater Community College, was the guest speaker. Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Cadets from seven ChalleNGe programs and Jamaica competed in a four-day academic and athletic competition hosted by the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy May 28-31, 2015, at Camp Pendleton, Va. Commonwealth ChalleNGe hosted 325 cadets from four states, the District of Columbia and Jamaica for the Eastern Regional Invitational, in which teams competed in basketball, softball, […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe hosts 325 cadets for athletic, academic competition

    CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Cadets from seven ChalleNGe programs and Jamaica competed in a four-day academic and athletic competition hosted by the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy May 28-31, 2015, at Camp Pendleton, Va. Commonwealth ChalleNGe hosted 325 cadets from four states, the District of Columbia and Jamaica for the Eastern Regional Invitational, in which teams competed in basketball, softball, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • CAMP PENDLETON, Va. – Cadets in Class 43 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy have completed their two-week acclimation phase and are now focused on the academic portion of the program, with their eyes on graduation Aug. 22. There are currently 117 cadets in the program in two male platoons and one female platoon. “We’ve got a good opportunity […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe continues changing lives one cadet at a time with Class 43

    CAMP PENDLETON, Va. – Cadets in Class 43 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy have completed their two-week acclimation phase and are now focused on the academic portion of the program, with their eyes on graduation Aug. 22. There are currently 117 cadets in the program in two male platoons and one female platoon. “We’ve got a good opportunity […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Twenty-seven cadets from Class 41 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated during a commencement ceremony Aug. 9, 2014, at Corporate Landing Middle School in Virginia Beach, Va. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Director of the Joint Staff, and Col. Paul Griffin, the Chief of the Joint Staff, […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe graduates 27 cadets in Va. Beach ceremony

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Twenty-seven cadets from Class 41 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated during a commencement ceremony Aug. 9, 2014, at Corporate Landing Middle School in Virginia Beach, Va. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Director of the Joint Staff, and Col. Paul Griffin, the Chief of the Joint Staff, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • VIRGINIA BEACH — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 79 cadets during a commencement ceremony for Class 40 June 21, 2014, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Director of the Joint Staff of the Virginia National Guard, was the guest speaker and music was provided by the 29th Division Band. Brig. […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe graduates 79 cadets from Class 40

    VIRGINIA BEACH — The Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated 79 cadets during a commencement ceremony for Class 40 June 21, 2014, at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach. Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Director of the Joint Staff of the Virginia National Guard, was the guest speaker and music was provided by the 29th Division Band. Brig. […]

    Continue Reading...