FREDERICK, Md. (DC NEWS NOW) — On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Maryland’s governor-elect Wes Moore proposed graduating high school seniors take a so-called “gap year” to work in their communities on a broad range of projects.

They would be paid $15,000 and be eligible for a $6,000 college scholarship after helping with a variety of needs in urban neighborhoods and rural areas. Moore said it would bring youth from diverse racial and economic backgrounds together for a common good.

On the other hand, some say that compulsory military service may be preferred.

“These future leaders can work on the environment or serving older adults — it is their choice, but it helps address the college affordability crisis. I believe in experiential learning and this will create a pipeline into the workplace,” said Moore.

Guy Mutchler, a Frederick resident, said he favors compulsory military service.

“It is extremely important,” he said. “It builds character. It builds discipline, and it will prepare them for the workforce.”

Iowa and California have similar programs, but they are limited to conservation projects. The Maryland General Assembly leaders indicate strong support for Gov.-elect Moore’s proposal.