W.Va. Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy Holds Graduation

KINGWOOD — The West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy graduated 155 cadets in Class 52 recently.

“Today is a tremendously important day for these young people who have achieved something remarkable in graduating from the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy,” said Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the adjutant general of West Virginia National Guard. “Not only have these cadets shown courage and commitment in overcoming personal and community challenges, they have also set a standard for achievement in their lives that will extend well beyond their time here. I cannot overstate how proud we are of their accomplishments and how important this is for the State of West Virginia.

Class 52 represents 35 different counties throughout the Mountain State, with Kanawha County have the highest enrollment for the course with 23 cadets.

Throughout the 22-week program, cadets provided more than 9,210 hours of community service through 114 different projects, a recognized value of more than $23,223.

The mission of the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is to train and mentor selected at-risk youth to become contributing members of society using the Eight Core Components in a quasi-military environment during a 22-week residential and one-year post-residential follow-up program.

It is a free volunteer program for West Virginia youth ages 16-18 who are educationally at risk.

Since its inception in 1993, the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy has graduated 4,515 cadets from the program.


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