Thursday, December 29, 2011

Challenge Academy honors mentor at cadet graduation ceremony

Richard York of Plymouth, Wis., was recognized by the Wisconsin National Guard's Challenge Academy for his service as a mentor for two previous class graduates — Albert Rendon of Plymouth, and Samuel Puchalla of Kiel.

Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, awarded York the Department of Military Affairs Commendation Medal in recognition of his unwavering support and commitment to his cadets during the Class 27 graduation ceremony Dec. 17 at Mauston High School.

The Challenge Academy is a residential alternative education program based at Fort McCoy, Wis., for high school dropouts and habitual truants. The Challenge Academy uses a structured, quasi-military style environment and state-certified teachers and counselors to build cadets’ academic abilities, character, self-confidence, and personal discipline. Cadets attend the program under the premise of changing their life’s course and developing new, healthy habits during the 22-week residential portion of the program. When the residential portion of the program concludes, mentors from around the state assist graduates in their home communities to help ensure the changes made at Fort McCoy continue as they return to their home communities.

 For more information about the Challenge Academy, visit their website or call 608-343-1937.

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