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One hundred cadets from 38 counties will graduate from the Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy in a noon ceremony Saturday, June 16 at Necedah High School.

The Challenge Academy re-shapes the lives of at-risk 16-to-18-year-olds by using 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.

Class 40 graduate, Cadet Savana Amble, 17, from Lodi, Wisconsin, made the choice to attend the Challenge Academy because she was behind in credits and was concerned about where her bad habits were taking her in life. She voluntarily entered the Challenge Academy Jan. 18 and said it was one of the best decisions she has made in her life.

“I have more respect for adults and others, I have learned to be a more self-disciplined person and I am excited about my future,” Amble said.

The National Guard Youth Challenge Program currently operates 40 programs in 28 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Nationwide, more than 145,000 teens have graduated.

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.

News media representatives are welcome to attend or contact the Academy for interviews with graduates. The graduation ceremony begins at noon in the Necedah High School gym, 1801 South Main Street, Necedah, Wisconsin. The Challenge Academy drill team will perform at 11:15 a.m. Graduates come from the following counties: Brown, 12; Burnett, 1; Chippewa, 1; Columbia, 1; Crawford, 1; Dane, 1; Dodge, 1; Eau Claire, 1; Fond du Lac, 1; Forest, 1; Grant, 1; Green, 1; Jackson, 6; Jefferson, 3; Juneau, 2; La Crosse, 1; Manitowoc, 3; Marathon, 3; Milwaukee, 16; Monroe, 1; Oneida, 1; Outagamie, 3; Pierce, 1; Polk, 1; Portage, 2; Racine, 3; Rock, 11; Sauk, 2; Sheboygan, 2; St. Croix, 1; Trempealeau, 1; Vilas, 2; Walworth, 1; Washington, 3.