JR Hildebrand to Team up with National Guard Youth Foundation as Spokesperson

Sep 02, 2011, 15:30 ET from National Guard Youth Foundation

Hildebrand Will Raise Awareness of the Success of the National Guard in Combating the Dropout Crisis Through the Youth ChalleNGe Program

BALTIMORE, Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Driver of the #4 National Guard IndyCar, JR Hildebrand, has teamed up with the National Guard Youth Foundation as an official spokesperson to help raise awareness about the dropout epidemic and an organization that gives dropouts a second chance – the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. Hildebrand and the Foundation announced the partnership at the Baltimore Grand Prix on Friday afternoon.

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

"I'm super stoked to be part of the Youth ChalleNGe program, and honored that they've given me the privilege of being a national spokesperson," said Hildebrand. "This is a responsibility I take very seriously because I don't think a lot of Americans realize how many kids drop out of school every day in this country. Growing up in California I knew so many kids who could have benefited so much from this program and I hope that myself and Panther Racing can help everybody at the National Guard Youth Foundation make a difference in the lives of a lot of young people."

"Far too many kids are dropping out of school, leaving them with little to no opportunity for success and costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year," said Jim Tinkham, Executive Director of the National Guard Youth Foundation. "JR will help the Foundation raise awareness about the Youth ChalleNGe Program, which gives these kids an opportunity to turn their lives around. He has connected with so many of the cadets and we are pleased to have him as our official spokesperson."

Hildebrand and Panther Racing have hosted cadets from several ChalleNGe Programs at IndyCar races across the country to help raise awareness about the program and the dropout epidemic. Hildebrand has visited with cadets at several programs and will continue to work with the National Guard Youth Foundation in their awareness efforts via personal appearances and public service announcements.

The ChalleNGe Program is a 17-month comprehensive, evidence-based 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 the life skills, coping skills and leadership skills necessary to succeed. The National Guard Bureau currently operates 34 programs in 27 states and Puerto Rico. More than 100,000 students have graduated from ChalleNGe.

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 the program goals and funding, and 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 their Cadets, please visit www.ngyf.org.

SOURCE National Guard Youth Foundation