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U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and David Perdue’s Bipartisan Resolution Honoring 25th Anniversary of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program Passes Senate

The successful program provides free alternative education and structured discipline for at-risk youth

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and David Perdue (R-GA) are praising the Senate passage of their bipartisan resolution (S.Res.424) honoring the 25th anniversary of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program (NGYCP). NGYCP is celebrating 25 years of providing free alternative education and structured discipline for at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 18.

“For 25 years, the National Guard Youth Challenge Program has worked to foster the development of our youth and help create the leaders of tomorrow,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to pass this bipartisan resolution and honor the individuals at NGYCP who provide educational and mentorship opportunities to our young people so they can prosper and succeed. This is a strong statement of support from the U.S. Senate for those dedicated young cadets—including the current and former participants at the Wisconsin ChalleNGe Academy at Fort McCoy—who have committed to improving their lives and becoming successful, responsible adults.”

“Georgia is home to one of the largest National Guard Youth Challenge programs in the country,” said Senator Perdue. “First started by Georgia’s U.S. Senators Sam Nunn and Saxby Chambliss, this program has helped thousands of youth discover their potential and set them on the path to a successful future. I’m proud of the work NGYCP is doing in Georgia and across the country, and we are honored to recognize their 25 years of success.”

The 39 current programs spanning twenty eight states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have been responsible for the graduation of more than 165,000 cadets and the awarding of over 116,000 academic credentials. NGYCP offers an opportunity to succeed outside of traditional high school environments for more than 11,000 cadets annually.

“I am extremely proud and honored to be part of NGYCP and especially proud to be part of an incredible team of 48 staff members at the Wisconsin ChalleNGe Academy here at Fort McCoy. We could not be successful, however, without the leadership and support of Senator Baldwin and her team, as well as other state leaders and the National Guard leadership here in Wisconsin,” said Kevin Greenwood, Director of the Wisconsin ChalleNGe Academy. “The Challenge Academy here in Wisconsin has been in operation since 1998 and has successfully graduated 3,723 Cadets. The Wisconsin program is well respected nationally as a model program that has a reputation of upholding the traditions of the ChalleNGe philosophy and vision of its founders.  The Academy is recognized as a leader in embedding Character Development, Resilience, Grit, and “Soft-Skill” growth in our youth attending the Academy to instilling life-long success skills that will benefit them long after they have graduated from the program.  For the Wisconsin Challenge Academy - our measure of success and reward is seeing responsible, contributing, citizens for life and passing those skills on to future generations.”

“The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, coupled with the recent addition of post graduate training provided by the Job ChalleNGe Program, has created a better future and options for at-risk youth across our nation,” said Tina Coria, Chairman of the Georgia National Guard Youth Challenge Foundation. “These crucial programs help shape youth into productive citizens and prepare them for future success. I am personally grateful to Senator Perdue and Senator Baldwin for their unwavering support and look forward to our next goal of workforce development.”

The NGYCP was born from the visionary concepts of utilizing a “whole person” intervention model to assist a generation of youth affected by gangs, violence, high dropout rates, and drug abuse. The program, which is funded through a cost-share between the Department of Defense and states, offers a unique opportunity for at-risk youth to change their course at a critical time in their lives.

More information on the resolution is available here.