Senate Approves National Guard Youth Challenge Program

The Senate today approved House Bill 824, legislation that would establish the National Guard Youth Challenge Program in Pennsylvania, according to Senator Randy Vulakovich, a co-sponsor and strong supporter of the proposal.

The bill, which was approved last July by the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee chaired by Senator Vulakovich, now goes back to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

“Over 13,000 students drop out of school in Pennsylvania each year,” said Senator Vulakovich.  “One way to help reduce this number is by tapping into the resources of our military and providing students a more structured environment by which to succeed.  This program has seen great results across the nation and I know it can and will work in Pennsylvania.”

Started in 1993, the National Guard Youth Challenge program provides a structured, quasi-military residential education for youth, aged 16 – 18, who are at risk of dropping out of school.  It is a free, voluntary program that helps those young people earn a high school diploma or GED.  Now in 29 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the Program has educated more than 140,000 students nationwide.

Contact:  Nate Silcox (717) 787-6538         nsilcox@pasen.gov