ChalleNGe Champions Gala
Celebrating 20 Years of Youth ChalleNGe
Presented by BAE Systems
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - JW Marriott, Washington DC
On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, the National Guard Youth Foundation held its Eighth Annual ChalleNGe Champions Gala in Washington, DC in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program.
For 20 years, the National Guard has changed the lives of 115,000 youth in need of a second chance at a successful future. Dropouts with nowhere else to turn are given the opportunity to earn their high school diploma or GED, boost their self-confidence and self-esteem, and are equipped with skills that prepare them for the workforce or continuing their education.
Currently, the programs turn away one in six who apply due to limited capacity. The NGYF, in cooperation with the National Guard Bureau and Youth ChalleNGe Programs, 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 30% more kids by 2014.
Highlights from the Gala
We are extremely appreciative of the support of our sponsors, celebrity guests, elected officials, individual and corporate donors, and volunteers who make our annual event a successful and meaningful event 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 to graduates of the program.
Sponsors of the Eighth Annual ChalleNGe Champions Gala Included:
Presenting Sponsor: BAE Systems
Dinner Sponsor: DC Capital Partners
Each year, the National Guard Youth Foundation presents ChalleNGe Champion Awards to individuals or companies from the public and private sector who are making great strides toward helping the Youth ChalleNGe Program and the Foundation. This year, the Foundation presented its ChalleNGe Champion Awards to:
Mr. Rick Hendrick
Mr. Greg Sharp
Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini, Kentucky Adjutant General
Gen. Craig McKinley, USAF (Ret.)
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller
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