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National Guard Youth Challenge Program

National Guard Youth Challenge Program



Yo u t h - A t - R i s k : S a v e t h e N e x t G e n e r a t i o n

The Need

Since 1990, Federal education funding has more than doubled2 and this increased funding has failed

to increase achievement. Student test scores have remained stagnant. Additionally, less than threequarters

of white students are graduating from high school and only half of America’s black and

Hispanic students graduate3. The social and economic implications of dropping out of high school

continue to be documented in studies across all disciplines.


Every 9 seconds a high school student drops out

Every 20 seconds a child is arrested

Every 37 seconds a baby is born to a mother who is not a high school graduate

Every minute a baby is born to a teen mother

Every 8 minutes a child is arrested for violent crimes

Every 4 minutes a child is arrested for drug abuse

Every 3 hours a child or teen is killed with a fi rearm

Every 5 hours a child or teen commits suicide

Every 6 hours a child is killed by abuse or neglect

Source: Children’s Defense Fund, Leave No Child Behind, 2005,

A Census Bureau report4 reveals the average annual earnings in 2001 for adults without a high school

diploma were $18,793 per year compared to $26,795 for high school graduates and $50,623 for college

graduates. The Bureau of Justice statistics identifi ed5 that 68% of state prison inmates do not have a

high school diploma and 47% of drug offenders have neither a high school diploma nor a GED.

A Vanderbilt University report, The Monetary Value of Saving a High Risk Youth6, identifi es the

generally estimated monetary value of intervening in the life of a high-risk youth to be between $1.5

and $2.0 million. Additionally, the Rand report, Diverting Children from a Life of Crime, Measuring

Costs and Benefi ts, assessed the cost-effective impact of crime prevention strategies that involved

early intervention in the lives of youth at risk for criminal behavior, including high school-age youth.

This report promoted the positive results of intervention programs for at-risk youth that provide life

coping skill-building opportunities in a structured and supervised environment.

To see the program in its entirety go to for program highlights.

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