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Rep. Napolitano Announces New Congressional National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Caucus

April 16, 2012
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), announced the creation of a new, bipartisan Congressional National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Caucus, made up of lawmakers who are dedicated to supporting the National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe program, which is a voluntary, disciplined educational program that has allowed thousands of high-school dropouts to earn their GED. Napolitano is a co-chair of the bipartisan caucus, along with Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA), David McKinley (R-WV), and Danny Rehberg (R-MT).

“It is critical that we give our children every chance to succeed,” Napolitano said. “The Youth ChalleNGe program is a proven way to help high-school dropouts earn their GED and go on to enjoy more productive careers.”

The current membership of the new caucus includes Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA), Ron Kind (D-WI), David McKinley (R-WV), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), and Bobby Rush (D-IL).


Full RAND Report on Youth ChalleNGe program:

Full MRDC Report:

  • Each year 1.3 million kids drop out of high school, resulting in unemployment, lost wages, incarceration, homelessness, early parenthood, and strains on our justice system.
  • The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP, effectively addresses our nation’s dropout epidemic and benefits our economy and our nation’s ability to compete.
  • NGYCP is a voluntary, 22-week program, led by National Guard personnel, that provides students with an opportunity to get their high school diploma or GED at no cost to the family.
  • According to a June 2011 study by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social policy research organization, the Youth ChalleNGe Program’s participants achieve “impressive results” in educational attainment and employability. Participants are 29 percent more likely to earn a high school diploma or GED, 86 percent more likely to take college courses and earn approximately 20 percent higher wages than dropouts who do not participate in the Youth ChalleNGe Program.
  • Since 1993, NGYCP has helped over 110,000 of our nation’s high school dropouts secure their GED.
  • 34 percent of graduates continue on to higher education, 14 percent of graduates join the military, and 47 percent join the workforce.
  • In February 2012, the RAND Corporation conducted a cost-benefit analysis, based on the MRDC study of the Youth ChalleNGe Program. RAND found that every dollar spent on the program results in a return of $2.66, a yield of 166 percent return on investment.
  • In California, two Youth ChalleNGe programs in Los Alamitos and San Luis Obispo have graduated more than 4,000 students since 1998, with a graduation rate of 73%.
  • The new Caucus will provide a forum for Members of Congress and their staff to learn more about this program and work to address the epidemic of high school dropouts.


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