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One hundred and four cadets from 40 counties will graduate from the Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy June 11 during a noon ceremony at Mauston High School in Mauston, Wisconsin.

Challenge Academy intervenes in the lives of 16-18-year-old Wisconsin youth at risk of not graduating high school. The 22-week quasi-military residential program at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin offers motivated and committed teens an opportunity to earn a high school equivalency degree (HSED), develop life skills, clarify values and strengthen relationships with family and community. Upon graduating the residential phase, Challenge Academy cadets are paired with hometown mentors for guidance and encouragement as they pursue a new direction in life.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Rolland Pechie is scheduled to address the graduates at the June 11 ceremony.

Since 1993, more than 120,000 teens have successfully completed the National Guard youth program. Similar programs are offered in 27 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy will begin its next class July 23. Applications are available for future classes by contacting the Challenge Academy at 608-968-8422 or visiting their website.

NOTE: News media representatives are welcome to attend or contact the Academy for interviews with graduates. The graduation ceremony begins at noon at the Mauston High School gym, 800 Grayside Ave., Mauston, Wisconsin. The Challenge Academy drill team will perform at 11:15 a.m. Graduates come from 40 Wisconsin counties: Barron (2); Bayfield (1); Brown (4); Chippewa (1); Clark (2); Dane (6); Dodge (2); Douglas (1); Dunn (2); Eau Claire (1); Fond du Lac (1); Green (1); Green Lake (1); Jackson (2); Jefferson (3); Kenosha (4); La Crosse (3); Manitowoc (3); Marathon (1); Marinette (1); Milwaukee (17); Monroe (1); Oneida (2); Outagamie (7); Ozaukee (2); Portage (1); Racine (3); Rock (4); Sauk (3); Sawyer (5); Shawano (2); Sheboygan (2); St. Croix (2); Trempealeau (1); Walworth (1); Washington (2); Waukesha (1); Waupaca (4); Winnebago (1); Wood (1).