Celebrities Drop by DC To Raise Awareness of Dropout Crisis

Feb 21, 2012, 12:03 ET from National Guard Youth Foundation

NASCAR Driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., IndyCar Driver JR Hildebrand, Actor/Singer Tyler Hilton, WWE's Kofi Kingston Join NGYF in Celebrating the Success of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

WASHINGTON, February 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Guard Youth Foundation will host its Seventh Annual ChalleNGe Champions Gala awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28th at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event pays tribute to the National Guard for its efforts to curb the nation's dropout rate through the evidence-based Youth ChalleNGe Program, which gives young people who have dropped out of school a second chance.   

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100512/NATGUARDYOUTHLOGO)

This year, the National Guard Youth Foundation will highlight two independent studies – including a RAND Corporation cost-benefit analysis – that prove the program produces a long-term positive return on taxpayer investment and improves the lives of young people. The event will also underscore the importance of strengthening public-private partnerships to bolster the effort to re-engage out-of-school youth. Illinois Adjutant General Major General William Enyart and BAE Systems will receive this year's ChalleNGe Champions awards for their commitment to combating the dropout crisis.

FOX News' Jon Scott will serve as the emcee for the event. Other notables attending include Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Craig McKinley, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand, actor/singer/songwriter Tyler Hilton, WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston, Gospel legend Kenny Bishop, singer/songwriter Laura Bryna, members of Congress, governors and military officials. Former and current Youth ChalleNGe Program cadets will also be in attendance.

The Youth ChalleNGe Program is a voluntary 17-month intervention program that offers adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of school the opportunity to obtain their high school diploma or GED while learning life skills, coping skills and leadership skills. The National Guard Bureau currently operates 34 programs in 27 states and Puerto Rico. More than 100,000 students have graduated from the Youth ChalleNGe Program.

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is the gold-standard intervention program targeting disadvantaged youth.

About The National Guard Youth Foundation
The mission of the National Guard Youth Foundation, a 501(c)(3), is to foster program awareness, advocate for program goals, provide scholarships and facilitate internships and job opportunities for graduates of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program.  To learn more about the ChalleNGe Program and its cadets, please visit www.ngyf.org.

SOURCE National Guard Youth Foundation