Last fall while I was staying at Magdalene House and playing Magic with Holden, the Great Satan and I were discussing the issue of extremism in Canadian youths, and how that might best be addressed.
The concept that he and I eventually hammered out basically relied on the phrase “We are Legion” used by Anonymous, and was intended to address at risk kids who might otherwise be lured by groups like the D’aesch or into street gangs or the military as a means of escaping their social circumstances and finding acceptance.
Essentially, the model that we conceived was that the program would provide the kids with a place to live and an education in any field which could be considered a public service (so that ranges from waste management to EMT to defence analyst, really). The program was to be privately operated but publicly funded, and if after graduation, you suffered a life altering event which required immediate support, you would have the same sort of social security that the French Foreign Legion offers — basically a card you carry for the rest of your life with a toll free number to assistance.
The trade off was that it would resemble a military school, and if upon graduation you failed to enter into the field of your training, you went to jail rather than default on the money, since rather than having to take on the burden of a student loan, your education was provided for you via tax dollars.
This is obviously still a conceptual idea and not a social program at this juncture, but one worth revisiting, I think, and ties in rather well with the ideas I have previously posted here about revamping the legion and also afford the opportunity for the development of a mentorship program between veterans and high-risk kids, which I believe would be healing for both sides.