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    TTZ: Derrick Mayes
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Tour members share life experiences at Challenge Academy

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 17, 2013 – 4:08 pm

A Wisconsin National Guard program, ChalleNGe Academy is a 17-month program for at-risk youth ages 16 years and 9 months through 18.

After spending a portion of the morning with high school students in Fennimore, the members of the tour were excited to visit with non-traditional high school students, young cadets enrolled in Fort McCoy’s ChalleNGe Academy.

A Wisconsin National Guard program, ChalleNGe Academy is a 17-month program for at-risk youth ages 16 years and 9 months through 18. Academy cadets complete a 22-week residential phase during which the cadets can earn their high school equivalency diploma and change their outlooks and viewpoints on life and character.

The guys spent their time talking to more than 110 cadets about character and overcoming adversity in life.

Alex Green shared his story about overcoming dyslexia, a learning disorder.

“I was the youngest of seven kids and it was tough to be the one struggling in school,” he said. “But I am proud that I was able to overcome it and be able to succeed.”

One of the cadets asked the players about what more do they want to accomplish after getting fame and fortune.

“This isn’t the top,” said Randall Cobb. “We need to remember the value of hard work and continue to work hard. And, for me, I like to be in a position to inspire. We can inspire young people to achieve. I had to overcome obstacles, just like you, and hopefully I can inspire others to work hard and reach their potential.”

The crew is taking a break in advance of tonight’s party at the Tomah Recreation Park to benefit Tomah Area Cancer Support.


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