|February 25, 2021 11:50 AM
|Senator Patrick J. Stefano and Sen. Maria Collett
|All Senate members
|Keystone Youth Challenge Fund
|In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that will establish a separate fund for the Keystone State Youth ChalleNGe Academy.
Act 51 of 2018 authorized the Pennsylvania National Guard to establish a “Youth ChalleNGe” Program – joining 29 states in providing a quasi-military/residential education to at-risk youth. This is a community-based program that leads, trains, and mentors 16 to 18-year-old high school dropouts so that they may become productive citizens. It has been recognized as one of the nation’s most effective and cost-efficient programs for targeting youth who are at the greatest risk for substance abuse, teen pregnancy, delinquency, and criminal activity.
In Pennsylvania, the Keystone State Youth ChalleNGe Academy will be based at Ft. Indiantown Gap. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Pennsylvania National Guard are currently upgrading their facilities and hiring staff in preparation for its first class of cadets, planned for Summer 2022.
We are introducing legislation to strengthen the program by establishing the Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy Special Fund as a special non-lapsing fund in the State Treasury – similar to what has been done for the National Guard Educational Assistance Program. Additionally, the bill will include the Keystone State Youth ChalleNGe Academy with future Single Audits within the Department and extend due date of annual report to September 30th.
Please join us in supporting this initiative. Please contact Nate Silcox of Sen. Stefano’s staff if you have any questions.
Introduced as SB433