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  • ​24 hour staff support and supervision


  • Educational support


  • Vocational training


  • Independent life skills training


  • Therapuetic recreational opportunities


  • Nutritional education & training


  • Home-life support

Challengers Independent Living program provides older adolescents ages 16-21 who are living in long-term foster care, with an opportunity to learn and practice independent life skills in a safe and supportive environment.


We strive to hold our Participants accountable for their actions and responsible for their individual success as they progress through our graduated, multi-tier program.  Challengers holds each participant to an age-appropriate level of responsiblity by setting a high-level of expectations.  This provides foster-care youth with the required structure and discipline to ensure their success with independent living, and supplies them with necessary tools for a healthy and productive transition into adulthood. A listing of our Independent Living Program EXPECTATIONS for all participants can be found here.  


To compliment our fast-track, multi-level independence program, the following services are provided to all Challengers Participants:




  • Therapuetic crisis intervention


  • On-site supportive counseling


  • Substance abuse counseling


  • Clinical support & on site medical care for newborns & new mothers


  • Computer literacy training


  • Resume building, employment search & application support, and interview training


Challengers Advanced

An Independent Living Program for Young Adults 18-21 years of age


Challengers Advanced is a unique program that provides Participants of our Independent Living Program (CIL) with the opportunity to demonstrate learned independent life skills in real-life situations, while still providing a close level of support & supervision.


MISSION & GOALS:  To provide young adults, ages 18-21 who have demonstrated acquisition and mastery of a variety of independent life skills with an opportunity to practice acquired skills in a community based setting.


  • To develop responsible young adults, positive role models, and leaders

  • To encourage self-sufficiency

  • To expose Participants to Independent Living in a safe, supportive, closely monitored, and controlled environment

  • To assist Participants in transitioning to the State Independent Living Program (SILA)



  • Must be between the ages of 18-21

  • Must have been in the Independent Living Phase of Challengers Independent Living (CIL) for 6 to 12 months

  • Must have been employed for at least 12 months

  • Must have saved at least $3,000 in their Challengers Savings Account

  • Must not have had any disciplinary issues within CIL over the past 6 months

  • Must be a High School Graduate or have a GED



  • Challengers Advance will give each Participant a stipend of $1,100.00 on the 1st of every month

  • Each Participant will be required to pay $350.00 per month in rental fees, due on the 25th of the month

  • Participants will have a five (5) day grace period to pay rent before a late fee is applied

  • Participants' rent will gradually increase over time until they are eventually paying the actual rental rate of their apartment

  • The rent collected by Challengers Advance will be placed into a savings account for the Participant to assist them with living expenses when they are discharged from the program.



  • Participants become self-sufficient and practice learned independent living skills in a real-world setting, but are still able to access the Challengers support system located in the same building

  • Participants learn first-hand how to budget their finances through the responsibility of paying their own, actual bills

  • Participants learn how to properly establish and maintain good credit

  • Participants establish a positive rental history to assist with securing their own housing post-emancipation

  • Participants are able to maximize their personal savings; most are able to save upwards of $10,000 in their bank accounts!



Challengers Beyond

An After-Care Program for Young Adults, post age 21, who have emancipated from the foster care system


Historically a teen's ability to properly function in society after emancipation (i.e., "aging out" of the foster care system) rapidly declines within six to twelve months post-discharge.  This decline includes unwanted/unplanned pregnancies, incarceration or some level of negative involvement with the criminal justice system, use of already over-burdoned adult government assistance programs (WIC, Section-8 Housing, Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc.) and most often results in homelessness.   





Challengers Beyond provides a full year of aftercare services to former Participants of the Independent Living Program in effort to end the cycle of poverty and homelessness for foster care youth who have aged out of the system; however, we will NEVER turn away a past-participant in need of help or guidance, whether it's 2 or 20 years from the time they are discharged from foster care -- our kids are family for life.


MISSION & GOALS: To ensure further development of responsible adults, positive role models, and leaders, Challengers provides case management services, supervision, and a monetary stipend for 12 months post-discharge from foster care.


POPULATION SERVED:  Challengers serves teens in long term foster care; these Participants typically suffer from a variety of clinical issues (i.e., sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional trauma, neglect and abandonment) which are addressed and treated by our qualified staff.


QUALIFICATIONS:  Participants must have successfully emancipated from Challengers' Independent Living Program.



  • Ensure the further development of responsible young adults, positive role models and leaders

  • Track Participants' management of learned Independent Life Skills

  • Maintain an ongoing relationship with former Participants beyond their 21st birthday, and provide continued case management services to promote self-sufficiency rather than dependence on government assistance programs

  • Maintain a close relationship and comfortable rapport with Participants post-discharge, and for as long as he/she needs help or guidance.



  • ​Challengers Beyond staff meet with former Participants on a monthly basis for up-to-one year after their emancipation.

  • Challengers Beyond staff will provide former Participant with a $100 stipend during the first six meetings, $50 during the next five meetings, and a generous gift during their final meeting.

  • During the monthly meetings at Challengers, staff will provide mentoring & support services to the Participant and discuss current living conditions and employment experiences.

  • Challengers Beyond will assist with providing access to any resources the former Participant may require, such as use of a compluter for applications or job searches, and will connect them with various support programs to meet their needs.



  • Former Participants can stay connected to a support system after their transition to independence -- an often overlooked luxury that foster teens are not afforded since most have no family or strong support system to turn to, outside of their Challengers family.

  • Former Participants receive a monthly stipend to supplement their income in effort to ease the stress and burdens of self-reliance and transitioning to adulthood.







  • In Spring 2004, two past Participants graduated from 4 year colleges, Trinity College in Washington D.C. and the University of Maryland Baltimore County


  • Over the past six years, Participants have saved well over $100,000.00 in their Challengers accounts.


  • Our most recent graduate purchased a home


  • Challengers continues to maintain a 100% graduation rate from public high schools (26 teens graduated in 2014)


  • We have a 90% employment rate for all program participants




Challengers Advanced
Challengers Beyond

The greatest gift you can give a child"

 are the roots of responsibility

and the wings of independence."


                                                           - Denise Waitley

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