Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee Approves Veterans Measures

Today the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee approved legislation that would establish the National Guard Youth Challenge Program in Pennsylvania, according to Committee Chairman Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny). 

Started in 1993, the National Guard Youth Challenge program provides a structured, quasi-military residential education for youth, aged 16-18, that are likely to drop out of school.  It is a free, voluntary, dropout recovery program that helps at-risk youths earn their high school diploma or GED.  Now in 29 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the Program has educated over 140,000 students nationwide. 

“Over 13,000 students drop out of school in Pennsylvania each year,” said Sen. 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.”

Senate Bill 52, introduced by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) and House Bill 824, introduced by Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) would establish the National Guard Youth Challenge Program in Pennsylvania.  Both bills are now before the full Senate for consideration. 

Sen.  Greenleaf introduced this legislation as a result of a conference he attended.  He stated that it is imperative that we adopt a program like this to give high school dropouts another opportunity, rather than spending money on incarceration, which could cost $35,000 a year.

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

More information about state issues is available at Senator Vulakovich’s website, www.senatorvulakovich.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorRandyVulakovich.