National Youth Administration


The Creation of the NYA

The National Youth Administration was established on June 26, 1935. Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Administration, thanks to the convincing of his wife, in an attempt to solve the issue of the country's uneducated and unemployed youth. Two programs were created: one for those still in school and one for those who were not in school between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four. The program was not very expensive, which allowed it to help around 2.8 million people who were struggling economically.
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Actions Taken by the NYA

The NYA provided grants to high school and college students in exchange for work, allowing young people to continue studying while also preventing the amount of unemployed youth from rising. One of their goals was to combine economic relief with job training in federally funded work projects designed to provide those involved with marketable skills for the future. As unemployment declined and World War II approached, the NYA focused on skills training for defense-related industries.

"A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration"

"While we in the United States have been going through our own gyrations, our youth have seen the rest of the world torn by wars and revolutions. They have seen age-old governments crack up and be replaced by a variety of dictatorships. American youth of today never knew the norms by which we judge the passing show. It is difficult for adults to understand the point of view of young people. We draw comparisons between present-day chaos and what we called normal some years back. Youth know only chaos. With all the progress that has been made in our educational technique, much of it is still based on a world which no longer exists and which has never existed for the younger generation."

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 7086

"I hereby prescribe the following functions and duties of the National Youth Administration: To initiate and administer a program of approved projects which shall provide relief, work relief, and employment for persons between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five years who are no longer in regular attendance at a school requiring full time, and who are not regularly engaged in remunerative employment."
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Quote from Aubrey Williams' 1937 Speech

"From information received from 432 high schools, in 14 states- 154, or 35.6%, reported that NYA high school students made higher grades than non-NYA students 82, or 19% reported that there was no essential difference in the grades of NYA students and non-NYA students. One hundred and thirty four, or 31%, reported that non-NYA students made higher grades. Twenty two, or 5%, reported that NYA students were above the average. Twenty one, or 5%, reported that NYA students were equal to the average. Nineteen, or 4.4%, reported that NYA students made below average grades."

Reaction to the NYA

Conservatives did not often support the NYA, considering the director of the NYA was strongly liberal. People also criticized that the NYA failed to provide proper funding for job training. When World War II arose, Congress refused to continue its funding, and the NYA was abolished in 1943.
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Excerpt from Letter to Aubrey Williams

"No greater obligation faces the Government than to justify the faith of its young people in the fundamental rightness of our democratic institutions and to preserve their strength, loyalty and idealism against the time when they must assume the responsibilities of citizenship. The splendid record of the National Youth Administration in helping some 600,000 young men and women against the despair of idleness seems to me excellent testimony that our means of meeting that obligation are sound."


(In the same order as the information appears on the poster)

"National Youth Administration." National Youth Administration. The George Washington University, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <>.

National Youth Administration, Indiana. Digital image. Amazon. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <>.

Lindley, Betty Grimes, and Ernest K. Lindley. "A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration." (1938): n. pag. Questia. Web. 15 Feb. 2016. <>.

Roosevelt, Franklin D. "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Executive Order 7086 Establishing the National Youth Administration." The American Presidency Project. N.p., 1935. Web. 15 Feb. 2016. <>.

Helen Harris of National Youth Administration Giving Speech. Digital image. NYPL Digital Collections. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2016. <>.

Williams, Aubrey. "National Youth Organization." Social Welfare History Project. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <>.

"National Youth Administration: The College and High School Aid Program - Social Welfare History Project." Social Welfare History Project. N.p., 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <>.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Letter of Congratulation to the National Youth Administration.," June 26, 1936. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.