Baxter resident Josh Coldiron has been named the new director of the Kentucky National Guard’s Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy located at Grays Knob.
“I’m honored to be a part of the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy,” said Coldiron. “Our program’s mission is to train and mentor selected youth to become contributing members of society. We will continue to work hard to provide this incredible opportunity for the youth of our region.”
With 68 cadets currently enrolled in the Harlan program, the academy is sponsored by the Kentucky National Guard and administered by the Department of Military Affairs. The academy’s mission is to train and mentor selected at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 18, and to help them become contributing members of society. Over the course of the 22-week residential phase, cadets work daily toward earning a GED or earning credits to return and rejoin their high school class. They also complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service and take part in many local events.
“Josh has shown himself to be the right person at the right time for the right job,” said Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Adjutant General for Kentucky. “Since coming on staff he’s shown that he’s got the energy, creativity, dedication and experience needed to run this very important program. I look forward to seeing what the future brings the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy under his guidance.”
Coldiron is a Harlan High School graduate and earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Eastern Kentucky University. He began his career with Kentucky government in 2002 where he worked as a Harlan County Probation and Parole Officer with the Department of Corrections. During his time there he also served as the Class D Coordinator for the Harlan County Detention Center.
Coldiron and his wife, Ashley, who is a teacher at James A. Cawood Elementary School, have one son, Landon.
For more information on the Kentucky National Guard’s Youth Challenge Program and how to enroll, you may call 1-855-596-4927.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, firstname.lastname@example.org