NCIA Celebrates Maryland ChalleNGe Academy Graduation

NCIA Celebrates Maryland ChalleNGe Academy Graduation


The purpose of the Maryland Freestate ChalleNGe Academy is to provide at-risk youth with academic, job skills and life skills training with emphasis on positive values in a structured environment that will give them hope and opportunity to become productive citizens.  The program is a great opportunity for the youth to learn about themselves, challenge all their capabilities, and realize personal accomplishment.

NCIA staff has worked with cadets for thirteen weeks in automotive, culinary arts, barbering/cosmetology, and automotive vocational programs. The 48th class of the academy saw 39 cadets graduate.

Cadet Roberts, who received a certificate in barbering and cosmetology, said “I have learned so much from this program. My favorite part was working with Mrs. B and learning about hygiene and the proper way to act on a job.” Cadet Roberts did have other trade school opportunities but she chose to go into the Freestate Program at NCIA because of the cosmetology opportunities. She does plan to use the knowledge she has gained to purse career opportunities in this field.

Delmy Zelaya, who is the mother of culinary graduate Christopher, said she has already noticed a change. “The way he speaks, the way he acts, it’s like he is a totally different person. He has always had a passion for cooking and I am proud that he was given this great opportunity to explore it as a career option. “

On behalf of all the staff at NCIA we wish all graduates the best of luck. Check out NCIA on Facebook for a complete photo album of each cadet and the graduation ceremony. Congratulations to all!