Senators restore funding for Montana National Guard Youth Challenge

Baucus, Tester Will Help Keep Good-paying Jobs, Improve The Lives Of At-Risk Youth

(WASHINGTON D.C.) – Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today announced that federal funding for the Montana National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program has been restored.

Budget cuts threatened to force the program to cut 10 full-time employees and several aspects of the program, which helps at-risk youth get their lives back on track. Baucus and Tester each contacted the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and urged the funding to be restored.


“I’m constantly impressed with the young people of Montana, their spirit is truly inspiring,” Baucus said. “Jon and I fought for this funding because the men and women who’ve graduated from the Youth Challenge are proof that everyone deserves a second chance and anything is possible with strength, determination and a little grit.”


“Youth Challenge is an effort that brings out the best in our young folks,” Tester said.  “Through hard work and self-determination, it builds character and strengthens the human spirit.  Max and I know how important it is for a service like this to continue bringing out the best in our state.”


National Guard Youth ChalleNGe is one of the state’s most effective youth intervention programs.  It provides support, GED, and job skills and military training for young people who have dropped out of high school. Jan Rouse is the Assistant Executive Director of the Montana Youth ChalleNGe program.


“The restoration of these funds was a cooperative effort led by Max and Jon,” Rouse said. “They stepped to the forefront because they recognize the importance of this program and what it means to the youth of Montana. We are very grateful for our senators’ involvement and the cooperation of the Department of the Defense.”


The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program is funded through the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Appropriation bill.