Winning Back a Lost Generation

The Fireside—News and Views from The Living New Deal


Winning Back a Lost Generation

Educator Dr. Mary Mcleod Bethune and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt worked to establish the NYA. Photo: Martin Gross. Source: University of Central Florida

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.


Susan Ives is communications director for the Living New Deal and editor of the Living New Deal newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.