CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy – South, located in Montgomery, West Virginia, graduated 70 cadets as a part of Class 1-2023 South, at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston, West Virginia, Sept. 8, 2023.
Since its inception in 1993, the Mountaineer Challenge Academy has graduated 5,502 cadets with 2,366 earning their high school diploma in the process.
Brig. Gen. Michaelle Munger, Special Assistant to the Adjutant General, served as the senior military representative for the West Virginia National Guard during the graduation ceremony.
“You have overcome challenges, grown each as individuals, and are now prepared to embark on new adventures,” said Munger.
“Education doesn’t stop with graduation or even college, and it is certainly not confined to a classroom. Make learning a lifelong commitment and always seek to expand knowledge and skills. This is a mindset of being willing to grow, explore new ideas and an openness to others’ points of views.”
Munger continued by charging each Cadet to, “embrace change, be adaptable, and continually learn, to enjoy the journey of life to your fullest. I challenge each of you to ask yourself, who are you going to be? Focus on being the best you, no matter what you do!”
Class 1-20223 South has 50 cadets, or 71 percent, graduating the program with a high school diploma.
Of those graduating, 36 percent (25 cadets) plan to join the workforce; 33 percent (23 cadets) plan to join the military; 8 percent (6 cadets) plan to attend a vocational/technical program; and 13 percent (9 cadets) plan to go onto a four-year college program.
Ten percent of the class (7 cadet) plans to participate in the Mountaineer Job ChalleNGe Program after graduation.
Class 1-2023 South represents 29 different counties throughout the Mountain State, with Kanawha County having the highest enrollment for the course with 14 cadets.
Throughout the 22-week program, cadets provided more than 5,295 hours of community service through 26 different projects, a recognized value of more than $151,119.30.