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For The First Time, A ChalleNGe Academy Grad Is Headed To West Point

Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy grad sets sights on West Point
Edwin Wriston/West Virginia National Guard
Former Mountaineer Challenge Academy Cadet William Farkas poses for a photo with his brother and father. Farkas has used his experience at the MCA to pursue an appointment to West Point. (Courtesy Photo)

For the first time in history, a graduate of the West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy-South will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Standout cadet William Farkas, 17, a recent enlistee in the West Virginia Guard, is the first cadet to receive the appointment as a part of the Class of 2026.

During his time at the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy-South in Montgomery, West Virginia, he earned the Robert C. Byrd Distinguished Cadet Award and Adjutant General's Award for Academic Excellence.

"I just feel overwhelmed with joy and am prepared to take on all the challenges that lay ahead," Farkas said when asked about his reaction to the official nomination.

"I couldn't have done this without the help and support of MCA," he continued. "This is not a journey that can be walked by yourself. You need the support of other people. There are so many [people] that have helped me along the way, from teachers, to coaches, to staff at MCA, to just everyday normal people; my mentors and my family. I wouldn't even be the person I am today without how they raised me. I believe giving credit where credit is due is important here."

Farkas begins his journey to become an officer in the United States Army this month when he leaves for basic training. He will report to West Point in June.

West Point is competitive, requiring high academic standards to be considered for appointment. Farkas received a nomination from Sen. Joe Manchin in November. His first nomination came automatically as a child of a military veteran.

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