Last Chance High School
They come here hoping to change their lives. Freestate Challenge Academy in Maryland is a 17-month program for at-risk high school students. The program allows students to earn a GED outside of a traditional high school setting.
The first two weeks — dubbed “Hard Core” — is like boot camp filled with strict militaristic routines including reveille at dawn, marching in formation and eating MREs in the D-fac. The program includes a 5-month academic course followed by a year of mentoring.
This two-part video series by the Washington Post follows a group of “candidates” as they struggle through the program’s first two weeks to earn their new title of “cadet.”
The videos incorporate interviews with educators and students, including a 16-year-old boy who hopes Freestate will help him turn around his life and a 16-year-old girl who hopes the strict discipline will help her overcome an attitude problem.
CHANNEL: Washington Post
Video by Whitney Shefte
Photos by Katherine Frey