The biggest threat to our way of life will not come from overseas but from the decay of our educational system and the disinvestment in our youth. Whether it is our dismal high school graduation rates, or the conditions in which our children are forced to learn, our ability to compete in the world economically, militarily, and intellectually will diminish if we continue on this present trajectory.
The most fundamental component for educational success is safety. Children cannot be expected to learn in an unsafe environment — or conversely — when the conditions for their educational environment are mirrored after the penal system. Leave No Veteran Behind has created a structured engagement program, which protects the integrity of the educational process, builds solid citizens, and creates a unique niche market by providing schools in low-income neighborhoods with safety and mentorship services and increases community resilience.
Currently, Leave No Veteran Behind provides Veterans several opportunities to work with youth via our transitional jobs program: Safe Passage, School Safety Services, STEAM Corps, and Youth Mentorship via a partnership with the Boys and Girls club of Chicago. These services, which are transitional jobs for Veterans, work with Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Police Department, and local community organizations to address the issues that facilitate violence which detracts from a student’s learning environment. These services also provide Veterans a gateway into youth-related employment opportunities. Now more than ever our youth need heroes to provide leadership and positive engagement for their success. Our nation’s Veterans are a perfect match for this important opportunity.