Grandfather Challenge grads

Cranberry Middle School Principle Jamie Johnson (center) with support staff and students who recently completed the Grandfather Challenge. Students who were honored with certificates of completion include Will Polechio, Alma Hernandez, Caden Hughes, Caleb White, Kelsey Ferguson, Liliana Osorio, Austin Elliot, Charlee Williams, Jamison Mead and Krista Ray.

LINVILLE — Ten students from Cranberry Middle School in Avery County, NC recently completed “The Grandfather Challenge” hiking program at Grandfather Mountain in Linville.

“The Grandfather Challenge” program is sponsored by The Jason Project, Inc., which was formed by the parents of Jason Matthew Nipper, who passed away in June of 2014 at age 26. This private foundation was formed to host this unique hiking program, which is designed to build self-confidence in struggling youth, as well as trust and positive rapport with adult mentors. Although the program includes at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/or drug addictions, the program also seeks to assist any special kids who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school or other personal problems or challenges. Because of Jason’s abiding love of the outdoors and mountain hiking, James & Cheryl have established “The Grandfather Challenge,” through which students navigate all of the challenging hiking trails at Grandfather Mountain.

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