National Guard ChalleNGe Program

Posted: August 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Young people accepted in to the National Guard ChalleNGe Program are more likely to earn a GED certificate, have at least one college credit and be making more money three years after they begin the program than those who applied for the program, but were not accepted. The survey by the nonprofit research group, MDRC, of 1,200 young people was released in early JUL on Capitol Hill. Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the National Guard Bureau chief, said, ―It‘s gratifying to us to see these kinds of results.
For example, 71.8 percent of those who entered the program received a high school diploma or GED certificate, compared with 55.5 percent of the other group. ChalleNGe participants also earned more than $2,200 more than the others. Also, nearly 35 percent had earned at least one college credit, compared to less than 19 percent of the other group. More were working and more were involved in a productive activity. ―Overall, we see these results as quite promising,‖ said Dan Bloom of MDRC.
The program was created in 1993 by Congress and now has a presence in 27 states. It is funded 75 percent by federal money and 25 percent by state funds. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a co-chair of the honorary board of the National Guard Youth Foundation that oversees the program, said that as Congress looks for programs that are not working in its attempt to cut the budget, ―This would not be a place to trim.‖ One part of the survey was less positive, however. In each group, about half reported at least one arrest. Also, ChalleNGe participants three years removed from the program were more likely to report using illegal drugs other than marijuana. McKinley said, ―These are things we in the National Guard can take as a challenge to us.‖ [Source: NGAUS Washington Report 19 Jul 2011 ++]


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