One of our former cadets, Cadet Brittany Abner, gave a speech in while in Washington D.C. to MG Umbarger and other members of the National Youth Foundation. Please check out her fantastic speech!


I participated in many unlawful doings prior to attending the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy. I was a drug addict. I was a drop out. I was a criminal. I was also considered hopeless, a lost cause, until the HYCA program and their compassionate staff intervened.

Now, rather than a typical high school drop out, I am one of the very few success stories. I can proudly say I am a graduate of a new kind. Today, at the age of 17, I have my high school equivalency as well as six college credits. I work full time and save my money in order to make my next school semester possible. When I originally registered to become a cadet at the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy, my intentions were not to change, grow or learn from the program. I had a change of heart extremely fast. I believe this to be simply because of the atmosphere on campus. As well as your strengths and capabilities, you are made very aware of your weaknesses and flaws and you are strongly urged to face these things and build them into strengths as well.

It would be untrue to save that this program was easy for me or that it will be easy for anyone else. By attending this Academy you are making a commitment to survive. You are promising everyone (including yourself) that you are prepared to put forth anything necessary to go over all boundaries set before you.

This program will not benefit anyone unwilling to work diligently and struggle in order to come out on top.

This program is not beneficial to anyone unwilling to give one more.

A year ago I was desperate for a change and I decided to see to it that I made one. Together, me and the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy made it happen. I say “we” because without the support of my HYCA Family, I would have no one and I would not be where I stand today. I am a successful graduate and I use the skills I learned through my training at HYCA daily to assist my in excelling during my post-residency.

Today, I am here in D.C. to offer my support to the program and the people that have been my whole support system for the last 9-10 months. And tomorrow, I will be back in Indiana, at work by 5 a.m. in order to insure that my continued education and success is possible. Myself as well as others around me recognize the changes that have been instilled within me: My ability to cope with stress and conflict is impeccable; my professionalism is rather unbelievable and the respect I have been taught to have for others as well as myself is amazing. I have a confidence that I never knew existed before the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy.