Winning Back a Lost Generation
As the Great Depression deepened and families fell into poverty, many young people left home to fend for themselves. Youth unemployment spiraled to 30 percent. For many, finding work meant quitting school. Some saw few alternatives to joining gangs. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt anguished at the prospect of “losing this generation.” Her advocacy for a National Youth Administration made education, vocational training and a paying job possible for millions of young men and women of all races, along with the opportunity to contribute to their communities and to the U.S. war effort, as well.