Steps to Attend Montana Youth Challenge

We are now accepting applications to Class 51, scheduled to begin Tuesday, July 23, 2024.

Below is an outline of the 7 steps necessary to attend Montana Youth Challenge Academy.

Step 1: Check Eligibility

Click the link to review the program's Eligibility Requirements.
If you have questions about the program or about the application process, refer to the next step.

Step 2: determine your area's myca admissions counselor

There are 4 admissions counselors available to assist in the application process. The candidate's location will determine which admissions counselor to work with:

Ty Robinson: (406) 925-3894
Western Montana: Kalispell, Polson, Missoula, Bitterroot Valley, Butte, and surrounding areas.

Yim Sribenjakul : (406) 925-9471
Southwest/Central/North Central Montana: Ennis, Bozeman, Helena, Great Falls, Havre, Browning, Lewistown, and surrounding areas.

Kevin Roche: (406)925-1562
Eastern Montana: Billings, Glendive, Wolf Point, and surrounding areas.

To schedule a tour or for questions, contact our Lead Admissions Counselor,
Mark McGinley (Dillon, MT): (406) 865-0119 or email at

step 3: Complete the application here

Please note that your application will not be complete until the required documents listed at the beginning of the application have been submitted to your admissions counselor.

Once you have submitted your application, the admissions counselor in your area will follow up with you (the applicant) to discuss your goals.

After the interview with your admissions counselor (either over-the-phone or in-person) and all documents have been submitted, your application will be submitted for review. The Admissions Department will notify the primary contact (noted in the application) of the outcome of your application.

step 4: secure a mentor

Mentors are critical for support during the Residential Phase and are a program requirement for successful completion of the Post-Residential Phase of the Program. 

Mentor criteria can be reviewed on the Mentors tab of our website. 

Download, print, and complete a Mentor Application - mailing instructions are included in the document. 

*If applicants have not found a mentor yet, please still submit the class application and the Academy's Post Residential staff will work with applicants to secure a mentor match.

step 5: Register your student online

Once the application has been approved, the parent or legal guardian will be given a link to register this student through our secure, online portal. Students who will be 18 years old at the start of the class, or who have documentation that they are legally emancipated minors, may complete their own registration.

Plan to register as soon as possible and have all required information at hand. Also have the required documents uploaded as pictures or scans on the device being used for registration. Documents include:

*For any family that does not have access to a device to complete registration online, a paper registration packet will be provided. Regardless of the method, please note that all students must be fully registered, and all required documents must be provided, in advance of the start of the class. 

Enrolled applicants become program candidates!

step 6: attend an orientation event

We understand that travel to Dillon can be a factor when considering Youth Challenge for your young person. That's why we're making it easier with class orientations across the state. 

Attendance at one of these events is not only a program requirement, but a great opportunity for candidate-families to connect with our staff and future classmates. We'll be there to answer your questions and help you through every step of the application and registration process. 

Class 51 Orientation Details coming spring 2024!

step 7: reception day (day one) 

Candidates and their families will report to UMW campus in Dillon for check-in at reception day.

Parents and candidates will begin at our check-in table to learn of their platoon assignment and receive a Parent Handbook. 

Next, candidate-families will meet with a staff member to double check a few pieces of information needed to ensure the candidate's safety and success.

From here, families and candidates will say "goodbye" with parents continuing through registration and candidates proceeding to gear check & gear separation. Items not on the packing list will be returned to families, please do not leave before collecting these belongings. 

Parents will visit the following stations:

Check in medications with our medical team.
Visit with our education staff to discuss graduation pathways for the candidate.
Follow-up with post-residential staff to discuss mentors and placement.
Turn in (or complete) written letters of encouragement.
Attend the parent briefing.