<a href="http:\/\/mntmedia.biz\/messenger\/wp-content\/uploads\/2013\/08\/Sheppard-1.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-561" alt="Sheppard 1" src="http:\/\/mntmedia.biz\/messenger\/wp-content\/uploads\/2013\/08\/Sheppard-1-206x300.jpg" width="206" height="300" \/><\/a>The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is pleased to announce that Cadet Charles Eric Franklin Sheppard, the son of Hilda Sheppard of Lewisburg and Christopher Sheppard of Ronceverte, has completed the requirements for graduation. Cadet Sheppard is one of 76 graduates from 28 counties across the State of West Virginia. Class 1-13 is the 40th class to complete this West Virginia National Guard Program. Commencement exercises were held June 14, at the Craig Civic Center in Kingwood. BG David Buckalew congratulated the Cadets and introduced the commencement speaker. WV State School Superintendent James B. Phares, EdD gave the commencement address.\r\nWhile attending the Academy, Cadet Sheppard of Platoon 3 was recognized for receiving the Instructor\u2019s List (three times), Honor\u2019s List, Commandant\u2019s Cup, 3-D Award, Mentorship Award, as well as obtaining the six Individual Values Recognition Ribbons. Cadet Sheppard also participated in the Presidential Physical Fitness Program. During their time at the Academy, Cadet Sheppard served in the following leadership positions: Asst. Platoon Leader (twice).\r\nAll graduating Cadets have completed the 22-week residential phase of ChalleNGe which includes activities in eight core component areas ranging from Service to Community to Employability Skills. In addition to classroom studies, the Cadets traveled to the Nation\u2019s Capitol in Washington, DC. Cadets in this class provided over 3,518 hours of Service to Community for such organizations as American Red Cross Blood Drive, Trout for Cheat, Food for Preston, Mountaineer Food Bank and Ms. Mary\u2019s Food Pantry. Following graduation, these Cadets will begin a one-year post-residential phase of ChalleNGe that includes placement activities in education and\/or employment.\r\nApplications are currently being accepted for Class 1-14 that begins in January. Call toll-free at 1-800-529-7700 for more information.