* Please consider signing on to the letter below in support of the RAISE UP Act (S. 1608; H.R. 3982), bipartisan legislation introduced in by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Representative Dale Kildee, and Representative Vern Ehlers to prepare disadvantaged youth for a competitive future.

The RAISE UP Act provides young people who have dropped out of high school with comprehensive supports (education, job training, and wraparound support services) so they can secure a diploma, a postsecondary credential, and a family sustaining career.

Should you have trouble completing your information, please email Kisha Bird (Campaign for Youth)at For questions about the legislation, please contact Phillip Lovell (First Focus) at

Many thanks for your consideration.

{Please note: By signing on to this letter, you agree to have it tailored and sent to your members of Congress and others, including your contact information, as needed to advance the passage of this legislation.}

Dear Member of Congress:

The undersigned organizations ask you to co-sponsor the RAISE UP Act (Reengaging Americans in Serious Education by Uniting Programs Act). This legislation will effectively prepare disadvantaged youth for a competitive future.

As you know, one out of seven (16 percent) people between the ages of 16 and 24 do not have a high school diploma. Research demonstrates that these young people are less likely than their peers to be employed, and more likely to live in poverty.

The RAISE UP Act supports locally developed systems that will identify young people who have dropped out of high school and challenge them to secure a diploma, a post secondary credential, and a family sustaining career. It will do so through a comprehensive approach that provides young people with opportunities in the areas of education, workforce preparation, and wraparound support services. By bringing together local stakeholders, coordinating resources, and filling gaps in services, the RAISE UP Act offers a systemic approach to one of the nation's most troubling problems.

Our economy requires a workforce with the skills to compete in the 21st century global economy. Even more important, our democracy requires an educated citizenry that is able to lead the nation for generations to come. The RAISE UP Act will help to ensure that all of our young people have the opportunity and ability to reach their full potential and contribute to a vibrant and strong America.

Thank you for your consideration.