The Branch Academy students. Photo courtesy Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.

WAUSAU — Six students from four area high schools recently completed their work at The Branch Academy.

Students Gaby Bleese and Bendik Mann of Wausau East High School, Derek Martin and Julia Schneider of Stratford High School, Tyler Tinkey of Mosinee High School and Kylie Viegut of Abbotsford High School wrapped their participation with The Branch Academy on Aug. 9 during a Demo Day event at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, according to the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.

The Branch Academy helps students engage with local businesses giving students real-life experience in the business world and companies access to talent that exists in the region. The Branch Academy, along with The Branch, were introduced by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, Northcentral Technical College and Church Mutual Insurance Company in 2016.

“College and career readiness are very important, but the opportunities are hard to find in small communities,” said Janeen LaBorde, a principal in the Stratford School District, in a Chamber of Commerce news release. “One of the things that I really appreciate about The Branch Academy is the authentic learning experience it offers. The program requires higher level thinking and 21st century skills like collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking.”

College students are encouraged to apply for The Branch’s fall 2018 and spring 2019 sessions. For more information or to register as a student or mentor, visit The Branch’s website. Businesses that are interested in the program can also register projects through the site or contact Renae Krings, talent development director at the chamber, at or 715-848-5942.

Photo courtesy Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. Caption: Six students from four high schools participated in The Branch Academy in the summer of 2018.