Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano joined the recently formed Congressional Caucus on Educating, Engaging, and Employing America's Youth (also known as the "Triple-E" Caucus), a bipartisan group of lawmakers focused on improving high school graduation rates, youth unemployment, and youth poverty.
"The poor economic climate has been especially hard on our young people," Napolitano said. "They are our future leaders, but too often they lack the educational and employment opportunities they need to move forward. We must use every tool at our disposal to help our young people meet their potential and keep America competitive in the global economy."
Napolitano has focused particular attention on the National Guard YouthChalleNGe Program, a military-style program students can sign up for to help them earn their GED in a stable and disciplined setting. To date, the program has graduated more than 110,000 cadets, with 92% of participants going on to attain a GED or high school diploma, and many ultimately earning a degree at a two- or four-year college.
Los Angeles County has a successful local YouthChalleNGe program at Sunburst Academy in Los Alimitos.
"These are the kind of young people employers are looking for," Napolitano said. "The graduates of the YouthChalleNGe program are committed, disciplined, and conduct their work with pride and focus. We should support this program and others like it to give more young people a path to higher education."