Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy North graduates latest class – West Virginia MetroNews

KINGWOOD, W.Va. — There’s a new group of graduates from the West Virginia National Guard Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy North.
A Friday graduation ceremony in Kingwood honored 79 cadets as part of the second class to graduate this year. The Guard said just more than 5,300 cadets have graduated from the academy since it started in 1993.
Sixty-three of the 79 cadets graduated from the program with a high school diploma.
They were urged Friday to continue the momentum the academy helped provide.
“Keep challenging yourselves. Keep pushing yourselves. Keep striving. Keep moving forward. Continue to push yourself towards accomplishing the dreams and plans that you have made while with us,” Brig. Gen. Michael Cadle, director of the Joint Staff, told the graduates.
Thirty-one of the state’s 55 counties were represented in the class. Kanawha County had the highest enrollment with 12 cadets.
The Guard said 46% of the plans to enter the workforce, 22% entering vocational/technical education programs, 16% will join the military. A few other cadets will go to four-year colleges or enter the Guard’s Job ChalleNGe program.
The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy takes at-risk youths and puts them through a 22-week quasi-military program where eight core components are taught.
Award winners from the program are as follows:
ROBERT C. BYRD DISTINGUISHED CADET AWARD
Cadet Garrett Mazzie
Flemington, Taylor County
Son of Jennifer Mazzie of Flemington
ADJUTANT GENERAL’S AWARD FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
Cadet Brandon Moss
Wheeling, Ohio County
Son of Brandon and Neuth Moss of Wheeling
LEADERSHIP AWARD
Cadet Harmon Goodwin
Davisville, Wood County
Son of Gary and Kelley Goodwin of Davisville
CITIZENSHIP AWARD
Cadet Joshua LeGrand
Wayne, Wayne County
ACADEMIC CHALLENGE AWARD
Cadet Kaylee Lester
Fireco, Raleigh County
Daughter of Stephen and Lucy Lester of Fireco
MOST IMPROVED CADET AWARD
Cadet Andrew Eastham
Parkersburg, Wood County
Son of Kristie West of Parkersburg
“ESPRIT DE CORPS” AWARD
Cadet Garrett Mazzie
Flemington, Taylor County
Son of Jennifer Mazzie of Flemington
“IRON MIKE” AWARD FOR PHYSICAL FITNESS
Cadet Marcus Bozman
Charleston, Kanawha County
Son of Janie Dotson of Charleston
HAWKEN CHALLENGE AWARD
Cadet Harmon Goodwin
Davisville, Wood County
Son of Gary and Kelley Goodwin of Davisville

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