MONTGOMERY, W.Va. (AP) — The National Guard has opened a second educational program for at-risk teenagers in southern West Virginia.
The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy South has started with an inaugural class of 72 teens, ages 16 to 18, Gov.
Jim Justice said in a statement Sunday. The teens represent 30 counties statewide.
State funding was used to expand the program to the second site at the former Montgomery campus of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology. The academy will offer a 22-week residential program.
The program is also available for cadets or recent graduates who want to earn certifications in fields such as manufacturing, medical technician and the energy sector.
Program graduates will also be able to earn diplomas from their home high schools.
The West Virginia National Guard also operates the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy at Camp Dawson in Kingwood. Nearly 4,700 cadets have graduated from the program with 1,700 earning their high school diplomas.