Hall of Fame baseball player supports Youth ChalleNGe Program

By Nikki Henderson | nhenderson@ktalnews.tv

Published 02/25 2014 04:21PM

Updated 02/25 2014 04:27PM

U. S. Sen. Mary Landrieu makes a major announcement on Capitol Hill about the Youth ChalleNGe Program.

On Tuesday Sen. Landrieu announced during a press conference that Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench will serve as a national spokesman for the program. 

Bench's new role as spokesperson will raise awareness of the dropout problem and the long-term positive impact ChalleNGe is having on the lives of more 9,000 youth every year.

Bench said, "About 75 percent of the students who go into this program graduate with a GED or high school diploma, which is very encouraging. 
These students, who've fallen one, twice, or even three times, find this program and commit to making a difference. I'm excited to be a part of this great program and I look forward to working with the people I know in the sports community and the leaders of this organization to make Youth ChalleNGe stronger and better for the next class of graduates."

Louisiana has three of the most prominent programs in the country, graduating nearly 1,400 cadets each year.  They are located at Camp Minden, Camp Beauregard and Carville.

Meanwhile, Sen. Landrieu proudly secured $135 million for the Youth Challenge Program for 2014, an increase of $10 million from last year.

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