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New Cadets Celebrate Accomplishment

On "Crossover Day," when successful candidates ended a two-week boot camp, tears and congratulations filled an auditorium as each earned the rank of cadet. But there was still more to come, they were reminded.
Read Part Three in This Series »

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Trying Transition for a Cadet Hopeful

Dawn Harvey, 19, chose to attend Freestate Challenge in order to better herself but had some trouble adjusting.
Read Part Two »

New Start, Discipline for Teens

In the first two weeks at Freestate, students go through the grueling "hard core" challenge.
Read Part One »

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VIDEOS

"Last Chance" High School: Part 2

Teenagers at Freestate work through tough times during their first two weeks. Some cross over to become cadets while others are sent home.

"Last Chance" High School: Part 1

At-risk teenagers who struggled in traditional high school try to make it through the military-style Freestate Challenge Academy.

PHOTOS

At-Risk Teens Find Discipline

For those who endure Freestate's boot camp, the next five months may be the opportunity they need.

More Metro

Local Education

Follow the Post's coverage of local education news, issues and practices.

Class Struggle

Jay Mathews tackles the problems facing today's educators, parents and students.

Local News

Read up on the latest news from across the Washington, D.C., area.

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.

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