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Fattah Calls on Administration to Redirect Record Toyota Settlement Funds to Youth Mentoring Programs

PHILADELPHIA, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02) sent a letter to President Obama today asking the Administration to redirect funds from the recent Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement with Toyota Motor Corporation to youth mentoring programs.

Fattah is recommending that fifty percent of the settlement go directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BCGA)—the largest mentoring youth organization in the country. The remaining half of the settlement would then be used to create a national youth mentoring fund, providing grants to organizations throughout the country. Fattah, who serves as the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) noted that there is a precedence of DOJ steering settlements to organizations for meaningful reinvestment in a specific cause.

Fattah said in the letter, "As DOJ and Toyota reach their final agreement it is my firm belief that the settlement funds could be used to tackle a big challenge affecting the nation - the lack of mentors for at-risk youth."  He added, "Mentoring must be a national priority—it is important to the future of our country."

According to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, approximately 16 million youth, including nine million at-risk youth, will reach age 19 without ever having a mentor. The same report indicates that at-risk youth with mentors are more likely to enroll in college, volunteer in their communities, and hold leadership positions than those without.

Fattah has introduced related legislation in Congress that would direct all fines, settlements, and penalties into a newly created FOCUS fund. The fund would assist an estimated 124 million Americans through youth mentoring and STEM education, medical research and innovation, and justice reinvestment programs.

To read the full letter sent to the President, click here.

www.fattah.house.gov

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

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