HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state House has voted to restore funding for the Hilo Youth Challenge, passing the measure to the state Senate for review.
Under House Bill 200, more than $600,000 in general funds and $2.3 million in federal funds will be awarded to Youth Challenge Academy’s Hilo campus.
The vote to pass the bill came as the Youth Challenge faced a possible shutdown due to state Department of Defense budget cuts.
The Youth Challenge Academy, operated by the Hawaii National Guard, is a community-based program that trains, educate and mentors young people under military-like conditions.
The goal of the program is to prepare at-risk students with the life-skills, discipline and guidance to be productive members of society.
“Closing the Youth Challenge Academy in Hilo would significantly impact at-risk youth on the Big Island,” said State Rep. Chris Todd, who voted in favor of the bill.
“Instead of shutting it down, we should be ensuring that they have the resources they need to help their students.”
The budget bill will now go to the state Senate for review.