print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > February 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 7, 2008

Fact Sheet: Continuing the Work of Helping Our Nation's Youth
President Bush Signs Executive Order Creating Interagency Working Group On Youth Programs

     Fact sheet President and Mrs. Bush Discuss Helping America's Youth

"Because one of the deepest values of our country is compassion, we must never turn away from any citizen who feels isolated from the opportunities of America. … Tonight, I propose a three-year initiative to help organizations keep young people out of gangs, and show young men an ideal of manhood that respects women and rejects violence."

─ President George W. Bush, 2/2/05

"The work that you do in your communities, helping young people build the knowledge and the self-respect they need to lead successful lives, is at the heart of Helping America's Youth."

– Mrs. Laura Bush, 8/4/06


Today, President Bush signed an Executive Order establishing the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, a coalition of Federal agencies that will help support communities and organizations working to help our Nation's youth.  This Order builds on the success of the Helping America's Youth Initiative, a three-year interagency initiative announced by President Bush in his 2005 State of the Union address.  The President asked Mrs. Bush to lead this 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.  As the leader of this Initiative, Mrs. Bush has hosted one national conference and five regional conferences, and participated in 125 other Helping America's Youth activities in 24 states, plus Washington D.C., to promote the efforts of youth-serving organizations.  The Executive Order President Bush signed today will further support communities and youth-serving organizations by:

  1. Extending and expanding the work of the current Interagency Working Group on Helping America's Youth.  The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs will be established within the Department of Health and Human Services to continue the successful collaboration of Federal youth-serving agencies to encourage, enhance, and equip community initiatives and partnerships in helping at-risk youth. 

  2. Enhancing collaboration among government organizations at the Federal, State, and local levels and families, schools, and communities, including faith-based and other community organizations.  The Executive Order directs the Working Group to identify and engage key government and private or non-profit organizations that can play a role in improving the coordination and effectiveness of programs serving and engaging youth, such as faith-based and other community organizations, businesses, and volunteers.

  3. Developing a Federal website on youth.  The Executive Order directs the Working Group to develop a new Federal website that builds upon the Community Guide to Helping America's Youth to provide a central location for high-quality interactive tools and resources that help youth-serving organizations create and execute plans to support youth in their communities.

  4. Promoting better outcomes for youth.  The Executive Order directs the Working Group to encourage rigorous program assessments to determine best practices and promote initiatives that offer cost-effective solutions for achieving better results for at-risk youth, such as mentoring. 

President And Mrs. Bush Believe Every American Has The Opportunity To Help Children And Youth Lead More Hopeful Lives

The Helping America's Youth Initiative has helped communities connect children and youth with caring adults and community organizations that are helping them avoid risky behavior and achieve success.  In three short years, hundreds of communities have participated in regional Helping America's Youth conferences, which have helped identify best practices and spotlighted the successful efforts of such youth-serving programs as a leadership camp for fatherless boys, gang-prevention programs, and faith-based after-school programs.  

The Community Guide to Helping America's Youth is assisting communities in meeting the needs of their youth.   The Community Guide to Helping America's Youth is a website designed to assist communities as they seek to form local partnerships, assess their communities' assets, identify local and Federal resources, and search for evidence-based programs to meet community needs. Over 1,000 members of community partnerships across the country have participated in day-long trainings on how to use this valuable Guide, which is available at:


# # #