Because a majority of recruits join to get money for college, it is critical to inform youth (especially low income and people of color communities) of the non-military options available to them. Too many activists fail to address this issue and leave young people feeling as though counter recruitment activists are trying to limit their options or guilt trip them but not addressing their needs.
Some non-military options for youth:
- College & Universities
- Job training programs
- Peace Corps
- Non-profit/organizing work
- Traveling opportunities
- Community Service
- Cultural & creative activities
- Trade schools
But lets move beyond just informing youth of options to offering real support and follow through in getting involved in these non-military alternatives. Research non-military options for youth in your area and create a brochure that describes each one and provides contact information as well.
Some other ideas include:
- Host job fairs
- Create and sustain scholarship funds for youth who are considering the military
- Create and/or support after school programs
- Ask local businesses and organizations if they are willing to support youth resisting the military by providing internships, job training, jobs, scholarships, mentorships, etc.
- Host college information sessions (bring college pamphlets, FAFSA forms, students, college reps, class schedules, applications, etc.)
- Host informational sessions on Americorps, Peace Corps, City Year, etc.
- Lobby/petition your local government to increase financial aid, institute more job training programs, support job opportunities for young people, get a trade school
- Establish a community center for the city’s youth