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ChallengeU’s Mission

ChallengeU offers personalized education for students aged 14 to 21, centered on parents and community engagement. Their graduation coaching and post-graduation support empower students to succeed and pursue opportunities while valuing inclusivity and creating a nurturing community.

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ChallengeU’s Purpose

With a focus on the individual, ChallengeU aims to provide a high-quality education to all students, especially those who cannot afford to attend traditional schools. Our objective is to determine the best path for each student to reach their goals.


We Believe That Every Student Deserves to Have a Bright Future!


We believe every student deserves a bright future, regardless of their circumstances. At ChallengeU Ohio Community School, we provide an educational program for all students who cannot attend traditional schools. We aim to identify, enroll and support students who need an alternative school to pursue a promising career and life full of opportunities!

Our Story

ChallengeU USA was created in 2018 as a dropout recovery program. We were truly inspired by the success of our Canadian operation, which has re-enrolled more than 24,000 dropouts in school systems in Canada since 2016.

We achieved these amazing results after launching a massive “Get Back to School” cross-channel campaign aimed at high school dropouts. The shining star of our campaign was the UFC fighting legend Georges St-Pierre, who challenged former NHL celebrity Steve Bégin to go back to school and earn his high school diploma with the ChallengeU program.

Failure is not an option

-Steve Bégin

The media followed Steve through his school recovery for one year until he graduated through ChallengeU. He received his diploma from the Commissioner of Education and was celebrated at an NHL game in front of 21,000 fans.


News report CBC news by Stu Cowan about
Steve Bégin's graduation with ChallengeU

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In 2018, we adapted the Canadian ChallengeU program to be the most effective dropout recovery solution in the United States. Thanks to the trust and leadership of Dr. Marcus Newsome, Superintendent in Virginia, ChallengeU was able to launch a pilot project in the Petersburg School Division in 2018‒2019. Our project was a resounding success, with over 85% of students graduating in the first cohort.

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News report by CBS 6, Vernon Freeman
Jr. Shelby Brown about ChallengeU success

Our Board Members

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Summer Crenshaw

Board President

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Maurice Daniels

Board Member

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Katherine (“Katie”) Noe

Board Secretary

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Sam Hairston

Jr. Board Member

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Kalena Maria Robinson

Board Member

Stephanie Ataya

Stephanie Ataya

Board Treasurer, licensed by the State of Ohio Department of Education

Leadership Team

With a total of over 85 years of combined experience, ChallengeU’s leadership team will support school systems and students through our proven dropout recovery program to change the life trajectory of vulnerable youth.

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Nicolas P. Arsenault

CEO and Philanthropist


Mark J. Pasier

HR Advisor

JD Merrill

John David (J.D.) Merrill

School Operations Advisor


Kathryn Brennan

Founding School Principal

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Latavia Walker

Graduation Coach


Marie-Pier Fournier

Student Experience Analyst

Julie Jones

Julie Jones

Graduation Coach

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Bria Jacobs

Richmond Lead Graduation Coach

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Sherwin Anderson

Graduation Coach