Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe celebrates land grant with ribbon cutting and dedication

WASHINGTON, DC (05/15/2017) (readMedia)-- Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe celebrates land grant with ribbon cutting and dedication

The Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy will hold a groundbreaking for its newly acquired training site in Laurel Md., May 15, 2017.
Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Address: 3201 Oak Hill Drive, Laurel, Md., 20724
The groundbreaking marks the next phase of planning and construction on land surrounding the 14-building campus that was converted from the old Oak Hill Detention/Rehabilitation Center. The land, granted by the District of Columbia, enables the DCNG to operate on the full 30 acres of land for training and closer collaboration with its Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy.
During the ceremony, the training site will be dedicated and named Camp Schwartz and the CGYCA will be renamed the Major General Errol R. Schwartz Youth Challenge Facility.
Army retired Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, a Georgetown, Guyana native, served as commanding general of the D.C. National Guard from 2008 to 2017. Schwartz came to Washington, D.C. as a teenager in 1972 and enlisted in the D.C. National Guard in 1976. He earned his commission in 1979 through the DCNG's Officer Candidate School. In 1980, he graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Since 1993, D.C. youth were able to attend the ChalleNGe program through a partnership with the Maryland National Guard. However, Schwartz saw the need for the DCNG to establish its own Youth ChalleNGe facility.
The Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy opened its doors in 2013 after a $6 million renovation making it 1 of 39 Youth ChalleNGe campuses across the nation. Currently, the campus has a capacity to enroll and house 236 cadets in its 22-week residential phase.
The CGYCA is designed to give teenagers who have not completed a regular high school program a second chance. The program has both a residential and post-residential phase.
The 22-week residential phase focuses on Graduation Equivalency Exam preparation courses, discipline, physical fitness and leadership. Cadets also participate in extracurricular activities to foster their education, discipline and job exploration. One popular club teaches critical thinking skills through 3D design and modeling, using 3D printers. Other opportunities include community service, yearbook, drama, student government, football, basketball and soccer. The CGYCA Honor Guard has developed a reputation in the community and has presented colors at D.C. Government ceremonies.
After graduation from the residential phase, cadets transition to the 12-month post-residential phase, which gives support through job-hunting, college admission and attendance, military service or other options open to the students.
There is no cost for tuition, room and board, or meals. The requirements for the program are as follows: (1) 16-18 years old (2) Must be a US Citizen or legal resident of the United States and the District of Columbia (3) Not currently on parole or probation for anything other than juvenile offenses (4) Physically and mentally capable to participate (5) Young Adults that are truant dropped out or are in the process of dropping out of high school.
For media inquiries about the ceremony please contact the D.C. National Guard Public Affairs Office, point of contact Maj. Byron Coward at 202-492-9518.