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Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) delivers this week’s CBC Message To America focusing on helping our youth find their future in America.

Fattah, who led the effort to create the GearUp Program said, “With the CBC’s help, we passed it into law and now some 13 million young people later, it is the largest early college access program in the country — we’ve invested over $5.5 billion dollars” into the program.

“This signature success of my career is now married up with our continuing efforts to build youth mentoring programs,” said Rep. Fattah.

“We’ve doubled the investment for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, for Concerned Black Men, for the Urban League — a whole host of groups like Amachi and the Dream Academy are receiving needed dollars so they can help young people.”

According to Congressman Fattah, a federal study conducted by the White House unveiled there are nearly 6.7 million “opportunity youth” in the United States. Fattah describes these individuals as those whose “concrete has not yet hardened and there is an opportunity to head them off on life’s highway in the right direction.”

“We need more efforts like Gear Up and youth mentoring efforts” in place so that a positive impact can be made on our youth who may be straddling the fence between heading off in the wrong direction and taking a positive trajectory. 

“As the person leading this effort on the appropriations committee, I can tell you that we are winning everyday, helping more young people find their way to a brighter future,” said Fattah.

Congressman Fattah concluded his address, saying even though advances are being made, “There is so much more to be done.”

Hear what else Rep. Fattah had to say about mentoring our youth and helping them achieve success in the video clip above.

For more information about the Congressional Black Caucus, visit


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