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Joni Mathews, director of the Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy, addresses the 112 cadets of Class 52 as well as their family and friends during a June 19 graduation ceremony at Mauston High School in Mauston, Wis. All 112 graduating cadets earned their high school equivalency diploma and up to 16 college credits. The voluntary Challenge Academy is a cost-free alternative education program that reshapes the lives of students 16 to 19 years old who are at risk of not graduating high school. Using a structured, military-styled environment and state-certified teachers and counselors, Challenge Academy builds cadets’ academic abilities, character, self-confidence and personal discipline. Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs photo by Vaughn R. Larson

Photo by: Vaughn Larson |  VIRIN: 240619-O-QS269-1226.JPG