PDG John Weiss introduced our speaker, Gary Stoner who he has known for a number of years. He told us that Gary called him one time to find out about the Lions Club. After explaining that, while the Lions are a great organization, Rotary is the club he should join. Gary, John explained, was born in Paradise, Alaska and is a master auto mechanic. He has a passion for Grizzly and is life motto is “It is in giving that we receive.” 

Gary told us that he was tasked with finding a local charity and discovered Grizzly. The most common misconception, he explained, is that the program is court mandated and that those attending are criminals or juvenile delinquents at best. In order to be eligible to attend, one must be 15½ - 18 years old, a legal resident of the United States and California, be credit defi-cient or At-Risk of dropping out of high school. Students must be free from any serious involve-ment with the law and have no felony convictions. Students must also be drug-free or willing to be drug-free. It is a 100% volunteer program. 

Grizzly Youth ChalleNge Academy is a quasi-military operated by the CA National Guard in partnership with San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. Grizzly is a free 5½ month residential leadership academy for students seeking to gain valuable life skills, up to 70 transferable high school credits and a second chance at life. Grizzly Youth Academy’s mission is to intervene and reclaim and lives of 16 to 18 years old at-risk high school students; to produce program graduates with the values, life skills, education and self discipline to succeed as productive citizens. 

For more information about Grizzly, check out their website at www.grizzlyyouthacademy.org. 


Grizzly Academy