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For Immediate Release
OFFICE OF THE FIRST LADY
April 12, 2007
Fact Sheet: A Commitment to Helping America's Youth
Calling Our Nation to Action: Care, Connect, Commit
Helping Youth Reach Their Full Potential. In his 2005 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced a broad effort to engage all Americans in helping young people become healthy adults. He asked Mrs. Laura Bush to lead this important effort, which became known as the Helping Americas Youth initiative. Helping Americas Youth is a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the challenges facing our youth, particularly at-risk boys, and to motivate caring adults to connect with youth in three key areas: family, school, and community.
Caring Adults Are The Key
Partnerships that Connect Families, Schools and Communities. The President and Mrs. Bush believe that caring adults are most effective when they are part of a community effort. Community partnerships bring together individuals such as teachers, mentors, parents, clergy members, police officers, social service providers and others that can have a positive impact on a childs life. The challenges facing young people are best addressed by connecting people throughout the community and coordinating resources to support youth.
A Guide to Making Community Connections
The Community Guide to Helping America's Youth helps caring adults connect with the youth in their families, schools and communities. It encourages Americans to make an even bigger difference by forming partnerships to implement programs that have been proven to help youth. This web-based guide is available at www.helpingamericasyouth.gov.
The Community Guide to Helping Americas Youth Reflects the Most Up-to-Date Research on Youth Development and Effective Programs. A coalition of experts from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Education, Agriculture, Labor, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and the Corporation for National and Community Service developed the guide.
Regional Conferences To Bring Communities Together
Helping Americas Youth Regional Conferences Throughout the Country. On October 27, 2005, Mrs. Bush convened The White House Conference on Helping Americas Youth at Howard University in Washington, DC. More than 500 parents, civic leaders, faith-based and community service providers, foundations, educators, researchers, and experts in child development gathered for this National conference to discuss the challenges facing Americas youth and to share best practices shown to be successful in overcoming those challenges.
Building upon the success of the October 2005 White House Conference on Helping Americas Youth, Mrs. Bush has begun working with state and local partners to host regional conferences throughout the United States. The first regional conference took place in Indianapolis (June 2006), the second in Denver (August of 2006) and the third in Nashville, April 11-12, 2007. The regional conferences help to increase public awareness and encourage adults to connect with youth in their communities.
Background: Americas Youth Are At Risk
Young Americans In Many Communities Are At Risk. While research indicates that an increasing number of American children are on the path to success, too many young people still face persistent challenges that hold them back from reaching their full potential. Research has shown that youth are less likely to engage in risky behaviors when they are connected to parents, family, school, community, and places of worship. Risky behaviors, including illegal drug and tobacco use, violence, and early sexual activity, are among the top causes of disease and early death among youth. Statistics show:
Sources for the above statistics can be found on Facts About Americas Youth at www.helpingamericasyouth.gov
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