Jonathan T. Hudson of South Boston was among 12 cadets from the Commonwealth Challenge Youth Academy to earn Silver Phase, a distinguished honor, for his sustained progress and leadership, during the second  Silver Phase ceremony of Class 50.

Hudson also  received  an Academic Excellence award on Dec. 19.

Of the 155 cadets to start the program, Hudson and 11 other cadets are among the most exemplary of the eight core components of challenge. The components include academic excellence, life coping skills, job skills, health and hygiene, responsible citizenship, service to the community, leadership/followership and physical fitness.

Halifax County High School Cadet  Hudson was among the  second group of cadets to earn Silver Phase and is at the top of his class.

Hudson, the son of  Mark and Penny  Hudson, both of South Boston, is one of the highest achievers in Class 50 and maintains exemplary performance standards on a consistent basis.

Silver Phase occurs weekly during weeks of the Challenge program. In order to earn Silver Phase, cadets must be outstanding in all phases of their daily life.

The cadets must be punctual, comply with physical fitness standards, be respectful to peers and staff, adhere to uniform and classroom standards and comply with honor codes.

As a reward for their achievements, Silver Phase Cadets are allowed even longer phone calls to family and friends. Cadets also may use an MP3 player in their free time to listen to their own music.

Silver Phase Cadets also may be given the privilege to speak at orientations, media interviews or other functions. Cadets also receive a silver rope and silver ribbon in order to show their achievement on uniforms.

The Virginia Commonwealth Challenge Youth Academy (CCYA) is the residential educational program recognized by the Virginia Department of Education and sponsored by the National Guard.

CCYA is a quasi-military style, 17-month program (5-1/2 month residential phase; 12 month post-residential phase) for at-risk 16-18 year olds.