Fresh Starts, Big Challenges
A series about at-risk students in search of a second chance.
Dawn Harvey, 19, chose to attend Freestate Challenge in order to better herself but had some trouble adjusting.
Read Part Two »
In the first two weeks at Freestate, students go through the grueling "hard core" challenge.
Read Part One »
Teenagers at Freestate work through tough times during their first two weeks. Some cross over to become cadets while others are sent home.
At-risk teenagers who struggled in traditional high school try to make it through the military-style Freestate Challenge Academy.
For those who endure Freestate's boot camp, the next five months may be the opportunity they need.
About this Series
This July, Washington Post reporter Michael E. Ruane followed the local teenagers in The Freestate Challenge Academy's Class 33 through the rigorous two-week boot camp that begins each term at the intense military-style high school in Maryland. The students who made it through boot camp earned admission to a program that offers a GED and, perhaps, discipline and teamwork that could help them throughout their lives.