City Times Staff
Jerry Gargulak, student & family outreach coordinator for the Stevens Point School District, with (L to R) Portage Co. Chief Deputy Dan Kontos, Bob Quam from the Salvation Army, Plover Police Chief Dan Ault and Sheriff Mike Lukas, all check their calendars to arrange a meeting time for a future trip to the Wisconsin Challenge Academy at Fort McCoy.
The group had originally planned to fly from the Stevens Point Municipal Airport to Volk Field on Oct. 6, but plans changed at the last minute and the trip was canceled.
According to Gargulak, the Challenge Academy is open to at-risk youth ages 16 and older, and the Stevens Point School District’s involvement in the program is considered among the best in the state.
The program is comprised of two phases: one involves youths living in the barracks and participating in military-esque confidence-building exercises for just under six months at Fort McCoy. Phase two is a year-long mentorship after they return to their homes.
The group, which also included Mayor Mike Wiza, Ben Franklin Principal Connie Negaard, School Board Member Barb Portzen and others from the area, plans to visit Fort McCoy later this month.