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ChalleNGe Academy graduation Friday at Camp Dawson

KINGWOOD, W.Va. — The Mountaineer Challenge Academy is scheduled to graduate another class Friday at Camp Dawson in Preston County.

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer

State Adjutant General Jim Hoyer said the class was limited because of the pandemic.”We will graduate 40 cadets. We had a smaller class in order to get our feet on the ground and make sure we could work through COVID,” Hoyer said.

Thirty-three of the 40 cadets have earned their high school diplomas. Hoyer said the rest will go back to one of the state’s education systems to finish their requirements for graduation.

The 22-week Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy has given hundreds of kids who have run into problems a second chance. Hoyer said it’s not a place for bad kids but for kids who’ve had a bad break.

The class also includes graduates of the Jobs Challenge program. Hoyer said some of them are already working.

“We had a number of kids who came into Jobs ChalleNGe and finished a 10 or 12 week apprenticeship program and got employment and are out in the workforce,” Hoyer said.

A new southern ChalleNGe Academy began with its first class a few weeks ago at the former WVU Tech campus in Montgomery.

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