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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 29, 2015 11:23 AM
From: Representative Stan Saylor and Rep. Kristin Hill, Rep. Patty Kim
To: All House members
Subject: National Guard Youth Challenge Program
We are preparing to introduce legislation that will require the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to establish in Pennsylvania the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, a dropout recovery program that helps at-risk young people earn a high school diploma or its equivalent and hopefully move on to higher education, employment or military service.

The National Guard established the National Guard Youth Challenge Program in 1993 in order to help young men and women who may struggle to complete an educational program in a traditional high school. To that end, the program seeks to improve participants’ life skills and employment potential by providing military-based training and supervised work experience, together with the core program components of assisting participants to receive a high school diploma or its equivalent, leadership development, promoting fellowship and community service, developing life coping skills and job skills, and improving physical fitness and health and hygiene. The program currently operates in 27 states and in Puerto Rico.

Consistent with the requirements of Federal law which authorizes the establishment of the program at the state level, the program consists of a residential program and a post-residential mentoring period. Participants must be Pennsylvania residents who are not currently attending secondary school and who neither have a felony conviction nor are on parole or probation. Participants must enter the program voluntarily, and are not charged a fee.

To the extent funding is appropriated by the General Assembly, the legislation will establish the program in Pennsylvania. If established, the program will be funded in part by the State appropriation, with the remainder funded by Federal funds and other gifts or donations.

Introduced as HB1689