Why ChalleNGe is Important?
Every school day more than 7,200 high school students drop out of school and fail to graduate with their peers. Leaving school without a diploma is a sentence to a lifetime of under-employment, broken dreams and a continuing multi-generational cycle of poverty. Dropping out is a tragedy to these individuals and it is also detrimental to our society, economy and national security.
Fortunately, the National Guard has been effectively tackling this issue since 1993 through its evidence-based Youth ChalleNGe Program. This little-known program has turned around the lives of more than 100,000 young Americans across the country. It has been independently rated as one of the most cost-effective and successful programs for at-risk youth.
- GED or high school diploma attainment increased by 29%
- College attendance increased by 86%
- Annual earnings increased by 20%
- Every dollar expended on ChalleNGe results in $2.66 in benefits
Because of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program more and more disadvantaged youth are getting a hand up. This program exposes these young men and women to opportunities that would not be afforded to them otherwise and provides them with an extensive support system.
At the Foundation, we are honored to be a part of the Youth ChalleNGe Program's support system. Through our scholarship and internship programs, we are ensuring these young individuals continue down a positive and productive path.
If you are not convinced the dropout issue is a national tragedy, consider the evidence of this growing problem outlined in the various studies and reports below:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
“The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts” (PDF)
Strong American Schools:
“A Stagnant Nation: Why American Students Are Still at Risk” (PDF)
Economic Mobility Project:
“Education and Economic Mobility” (PDF)
Alliance for Excellent Education, Issue Brief, January 2007:
“The High Cost of High School Dropouts” (PDF)