ChalleNGe Champions Gala
Ninth Annual ChalleNGe Champions Gala
Presented by BAE Systems
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington DC
We are extremely appreciative of the support we receive from our sponsors, celebrity guests, elected officials, individual and corporate donors, and volunteers who make our annual event a successful and meaningful one for our guests. Their involvement makes it possible for the National Guard Youth Foundation to raise awareness of the success of the Youth ChalleNGe Program, provide scholarships and facilitate internships and job opportunities for graduates of the program.
Photos of the gala can be found here.
For more than 20 years, the National Guard has helped over 120,000 youth in need of a second chance. Teenagers who drop out of school and have nowhere else to turn are given the opportunity to earn their high school diploma, GED, or return to high school, boost their self-confidence and self-esteem, and are equipped with skills that prepare them for the workforce or continuing their education.
NGYF has launched a major effort to ensure that no young person who wants a second chance offered by ChalleNGe is turned away. Our goal is to form partnerships that can help the ChalleNGe Program accommodate 20,000 kids by 2020.
The Gala provides the Foundation the opportunity to honor National Guard Youth ChalleNGe cadets from across the country who've accepted the "challenge" to turn their lives around. The Foundation also pays tribute to the many National Guard personnel and supporters of the ChalleNGe Program and Foundation who have selflessly advocated on behalf of the ChalleNGe Program.
The Gala events draw nearly 1,000 guests, including governors, members of Congress, Department of Defense officials, senior National Guard and military leaders, program directors and cadets, national celebrities, corporate and community officials and members of the press. During the evening, the Foundation holds a reception and silent auction, followed by a dinner program with live entertainment and a live auction.
Funds raised from gala sponsorships and the live and silent auctions create scholarships and internship opportunities for graduates of the Youth ChalleNGe Program, so they can continue their education in college, vocational, or trade schools or gain meaningful work experience.
"While there are many good programs that help prevent kids from dropping out of school, there are few, if any, that help them once they've dropped out. The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program offers a future of promise to those who have the will and desire to pursue it. The Program is a 'hand up,' not a 'hand out,' that provides youths with the tools, support and knowledge they need to start believing in themselves again. We've lost so many to this national epidemic and the Youth ChalleNGe Program is putting a stop to that trend."
- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu