Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: March 8-14

March 10, 1939

“FORT WORTH, Texas, Friday…I was met by a young girl reporter on the train, an intense and vivid personality and one who voiced a desire which cheered me greatly. She wanted to know what young women could do to serve the cause of their country and of democracy. That is a spirit which most of us welcome with a deep sense of gratitude, for the cause of democracy needs service today.

I would be glad to see the Government make it possible for volunteers to receive training over a given period of time, by rendering some service which would be of use to the communities in which they live. This thought has often come to me when we have discussed the need of keeping young people out of the labor market for a longer period of time. The remarkable work I have seen in hospitals and government offices of various kinds done by WPA and NYA workers, leads me to believe that when these projects come to an end there will be real hardship. Perhaps some of this volunteer service would prove useful in civic and charitable work.

Texas NYA seems to be particularly interested in the assistance given education and in the resident projects which are apparently working out very well. They are also anxious to assist boys and girls in need of work, giving preference as far as possible to those whose families are on relief, but not barring from the resident projects youngsters who could not obtain the type of training available there in any other way. These youngsters come from families where the income is in the low brackets, though not perhaps actually on a relief basis. This seems to me to be a wise plan which I hope Congress will consider, though I realize that it presupposes careful and honest local administration…”

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