Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy Tracks Laptops and Protects Sensitive Data with Absolute

The District of Columbia National Guard has a long history of dedicated service to the nation and local community. In addition to providing forces to the Army and Air Force, the DC Guard has many community programs in support of the District, including: Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy, About Face!, and Youth Leaders Camp. The Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy (CGYCA) is an evidence-based, voluntary, 17-month program designed to provide opportunities to 16 - 18 year old adolescents who have dropped out of school but demonstrate a desire to improve their potential for successful and productive lives. The ChalleNGe experience has transformed the lives of more than 121,000 youth. The CGYCA mission is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year old high school dropouts, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.

In July 2013, the CGYCA became the most recent National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academy to open. In the US, the GED examination had moved from a paper-based to a paperless test. It was important that the cadets had access to computers during the program to complete classroom work and exams. Recalls Hammond, “We had to ensure that our cadets would be computer savvy enough to take the test.”


The CGYCA is currently configured to support up to 176 cadets on campus. The 12 campus buildings (including dorms) are spread across 29.7 acres. “Our campus was in a time crunch before the cadets arrived,” says Hammond. “We received our laptops a week before the opening and we needed a way to protect them as well as keep track of them.”


The CGYCA chose Absolute to protect their laptops from theft.

“Deployment was a very busy time for us,” recalls Hammond. “We didn’t have Transparent LAN Service (TLS) until 72 hours before the campus opened. In the days leading up, we were going box-to-box, pulling out laptops and installing software with flash drives. Since Absolute was built into the image we were installing on each machine, our machines were protected before we even had internet in place.”

“Absolute came to visit us on campus, and saw right away that we weren’t using the geofencing feature to its fullest extent. It’s been incredibly valuable to us since then, allowing us to see the location of laptops, including where they’ve been.”

Keith Hammond, Manager Information Systems, Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy

“Just knowing that Absolute is on the laptops has curbed ‘wanderings’,” says Hammond. “One day, I was offsite so the cadets thought they would try something. A colleague called to say a laptop was missing. I told him to put the word out that we’re working with Absolute and Metro PD who would be showing up in the next six hours if the laptop wasn’t found. Magically, the laptop reappeared in the next class period.”


If a laptop is stolen or lost, it can be remotely frozen, and/ or sensitive data related to underage cadets wiped
Putting out the word to students and staff that Absolute was installed has curbed potential thefts
Geofencing notifies administrators if a device strays from an intended location