West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin attended the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy class graduation on Fri., Dec. 15 at the academy’s facility at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, W.Va.
The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy’s mission is to train and mentor selected at-risk youths to become contributing members of society using the Model’s 8 Core Components in a quasi-military environment during a 22-week residential and one-year follow-up program. The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is the “first choice” special alternative education program in
the State, providing a safe, secure, structured training environment for volunteer youth who strive to improve their life, enhance their future, and who are ultimately better for having the ChalleNGe experience.
Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy opened in 1993 as one of the two original challenge academies and more than 3,300 cadets have graduated from the program. Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy, located at Camp Dawson, has enrolled cadets from all 55 West Virginia counties. In 2013, the academy partnered with the W.Va. Dept. of Education and began offering high school diplomas. Since then more than 75 percent of cadets have earned a diploma. Following graduation, cadets are paired with and assisted by volunteer mentors in their home communities to ensure their future success.