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Minnick Brings National Guard Youth Challenge Program to Idaho

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Amendment passes as part of National Defense Authorization bill

Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick last night won passage of an amendment to help fund the National Guard Youth Challenge Program.

"The National Guard Youth Challenge Program is a fantastic initiative to will help at-risk kids, and I'm pleased to play a role in getting it started in Idaho," Minnick said. "Our guardsmen are some of the most dedicated in the nation, and they are to be commended for their service. I am pleased that they will have the opportunity to help these teens develop into the next generation of leaders. It's time we give the Guard the resources to start this worthwhile program."

Last December, Minnick visited with Idaho National Guard officials at Gowen Field to learn more about the initiative and announced his intention to help bring the program to Idaho.

Maj. Gen. Gary Sayler, Commanding General, Idaho National Guard praised the effort, "The men and women of the Idaho National Guard are enthusiastic about bringing the Youth Challenge program to Idaho. Over the past year, we've been doing the research to make this program a reality in our state and we are confident we can offer some of Idaho's at-risk youth a chance to achieve their potential."

The measure would help fund a National Guard Youth Challenge Program in Idaho by authorizing the Secretary of Education to help cover three years of start-up costs for local units interested in founding programs of their own. The text of the amendment follows a similar framework as the "National Guard Youth Challenge Enhancement Act," a bill introduced by Minnick and Senator Crapo in March of this year.

Minnick's amendment, part of HR 5136, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 passed on the U.S. House floor with no objection.

More about the National Guard Youth Challenge Program

Founded by Congress in 1993, the National Guard Youth Challenge Program is a multi-phased intervention program targeting high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 18. The Program combines military-based discipline and training with educational instruction, experiential learning and mentoring. Students spend five months in a residential program, where they learn practical life skills and are educated within a rigorous structure. That is followed by 12 months of post-residential work, where skilled mentors are matched to program graduates.

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