Mentor Photos

F or the Youth Challenge program, mentoring is a supportive one-to-one relationship between an adult and an at-risk youth developed to facilitate the youth’s educational, social and personal growth, allowing the youth to become a responsible, productive and contributing member of his or her community and of society as a whole.

Each student is matched with an Academy-approved mentor.  Two mentor prospects are nominated by the student and/or parents/guardians. One will serve as the primary prospect and the other as an alternate. A trained and matched mentor provides assistance and guidance to the Challenge graduate during the 12-month Post-Residential Phase.

The Youth Challenge Academy mentor is key to a graduate’s successful transition to employment and/or continuing education. An established goal for all students is to complete a Post-Residential Action Plan (P-RAP). This plan is a guide for the Mentor and the Cadet to follow after graduation.

Mentor FAQ

What are the qualifications to be a mentor prospect for our program?

You must be: At least 21 years old The same sex as the young person Within the youth’s community A good role model Consent to undergo and pass our background screening process You must not: Live in the same residence as the youth Be a close relative (defined as parent, step-parents or siblings) Be a romantic interest of a relative of the youth or of the youth’s romantic interest

What is the process after I submit my mentor prospect application?

We will process your application for a criminal check and through the sex offender registry. You will be notified of your prospect status, either primary or alternate and if you are placed in the primary status you will receive a letter inviting you to training.

What do I need to do if I am placed in the alternate status?

Your application will remain on file only.  If the primary cannot fulfill his commitment for any reason then we would contact you to see if you are still willing to commit to the mentoring.

How many times must I meet with my mentee?

1)  One face-to-face contact during the 5 month residential phase, usually on your mentor training day and then participate in the bi-weekly letter writing after week 14 until the cadet returns home on week 22. 2)  At least four times per month during the 12 month Post-Residential Phase   (2 face-to-face contacts and two contacts by phone, mail, email, text, or other…)

Will I have to attend training?

Yes, you must attend our training to be a program matched mentor.  We offer training opportunities several times per cycle at our location.  Hopefully one of these sessions will work best for your schedule.  These dates will be scheduled about three weeks after the cycle begins.  You will be notified by mail of the dates and time.

How do I contact my cadet?

Cadets may receive letters, cards or appropriate magazines at the following address: SC Youth Challenge Academy Cadet Name ____________  Plt # __ 5471 Leesburg Road, Building 3891 Eastover, SC 29044 PLEASE NOTE: Youth Challenge Cadets may not receive contraband (i.e. candy, food, inappropriate reading materials, etc.).

In order to apply, please download a Mentor Application, by clicking on the link above.  Once you’ve filled out your application, please fax, mail, or email it to SCYCA.  If you are unable to download the application, please call us and we will mail one to you.  If you have any questions, please contact  Mrs. Martha Owens in the Mentor Department at  803-299-4879.

Complete print and return your application by fax, mail or email to

Fax to: 1-888-812-5215

Mail to:
SC Youth Challenge Academy
ATTN: Mentoring Dept.
5471 Leesburg Road, Building 3891
Eastover, SC 29044