One hundred and six cadets from 38 counties will graduate from the Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy in a noon ceremony Saturday (June 9), at Stevens Point Area Senior High School.
The Challenge Academy re-shapes the lives of at-risk 16-to-18-year-olds. It uses a structured, military-style environment and state-certified teachers and counselors to build cadets' academic abilities, character, self-confidence, and personal discipline.
After graduating from the 22-week residential phase of academy training, cadets are paired with hometown mentors who offer guidance and encouragement in pursuing their new direction in life.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is scheduled to address graduates along with their parents, relatives, mentors, and friends on hand to celebrate their success.
Twenty-eight states and Puerto Rico offer similar programs nationwide. More than 100,000 teens have successfully completed the National Guard youth programs since 1993. In Wisconsin more than 86 percent of cadets who finish the program receive their high school equivalency diploma (HSED), and more than 80 percent stay out of trouble with the law.
The Wisconsin Challenge Academy will begin its next class July 19. Applications are available for future classes by contacting the Challenge Academy at (866) 968-8422 or visiting their website.