Grantees Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO)

Project YANO is community organization that provides young people with an alternative point of view about military enlistment. Many of our members are armed forces veterans who believe that high school students are getting a distorted picture of the military and war from recruiting ads and marketing. In particular, we are concerned that many low-income students and students of color are being diverted away from higher education and into the military, where they are found in disproportionate numbers.In our base community of San Diego County, Project YANO sends veterans to youth groups and local schools to speak about the realities of military life and war so that young people will better understand what is behind the armed forces sales pitch. As an alternative, students are given nonmilitary options for local job training and college financial aid. Project YANO also urges youths to become community activists and consider pursuing careers in social change.Our goal is to help young people see a different side to these issues so they will have a more balanced picture and be able to make educated decisions about their future. We encourage them to think critically, search for more information, and then make up their own mindsSince its founding in 1984, Project YANO has sought to educate school officials about the need to give students a more balanced view on the military. We have also urged schools to make students and their families more aware of how to protect their privacy by using their right to opt out if student information is going to be released to military recruiters.

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