Alaska Military Youth Academy graduates 126 cadets

The Alaska Military Youth Academy celebrated its 61st class of cadets and more than 29 years of service to the State of Alaska as Class 2023-2 graduates 126 youth leaders from its ChalleNGe program on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

The 10 a.m. graduation ceremony was open to the public and will take place at the Dena’Ina Center located at 600 W 7th Ave. The event was live streamed for families, friends, supporters, mentors, and the public who are unable to attend. The link is available at

During their 22-week residential phase at the AMYA ChalleNGe program, the corps of cadets focused on academic excellence, leadership and followership, physical fitness, life-coping techniques, job skills, responsible citizenship, health and hygiene, and service to the community.

Class 2023-2 provided more than 5,665 hours of service to the community; 76 cadets earned their high school credentials; others earned 7.0+ transferrable credits each. Twenty-three cadets received vocational training in culinary arts, supply/logistics, building maintenance, and OSHA 10-hour training. All cadets received American Traffic Safety Services Association flagger certification, first-Aid, CPR, Food Handler’s Card, and guidance on future training opportunities in the trades.

The 126 cadets that graduated come from communities throughout Alaska, including Anchorage, Craig, Coffman Cove, Cooper Landing, JBER, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak, Napakiak, Nenana, Nightmute, Nome, North Pole, Palmer, Port Alsworth, Scammon Bay, Sitka, Soldotna, Sutton, Wasilla, and Willow. They will join more than 6,552 previous graduates since 1994.

The program is co-sponsored under a cooperative agreement between the National Guard Bureau and the State of Alaska and is offered no cost to cadets and their families.

After graduating, all cadets take part in the year-long, post-residential phase back in their communities. There they practice the life skills and principles learned while they continue their education (high school, college or vocational schools), enter the workplace, or join the military. The goal of this phase is for graduates to sustain and build on the progress made during the residential phase while serving as productive members of society.

The next class begins on January 17, 2024, where AMYA will continue to fulfill its mission: to help intervene in and reclaim the lives of youth and produce program graduates with the values, skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults.