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The mission of Sea Islands YouthBuild is to provide youth with the opportunity to prepare themselves to become leaders in their community through specialized occupational training, a rigorous academic program, and community leadership projects. This training will not only improve their lives, but the greater community as a whole.
Sea Island YouthBuild engages unemployed young men and women ages 16-24, most of whom have dropped out of high school and all of whom come from low-income families. YouthBuild enables them to serve their communities by building affordable housing and assists them in transforming their own lives and roles in society. Many YouthBuild students have had experiences with foster care, juvenile justice, welfare, and homelessness.
The YouthBuild program model integrates education, leadership development, counseling, construction, and other vocational training skills, along with resources for graduates. Students are provided with comprehensive services and support to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes for postsecondary success.
YouthBuild students divide their time between the YouthBuild alternative school and the construction (or other vocational training) site. Students prepare for high school diplomas, GEDs, vocational school, college, and careers. The curriculum integrates academics with life skills. Classes are small, allowing one-on-one attention to students, and many students earn AmeriCorps education awards to help pay for college expenses.
YouthBuild students are committed to civic engagement and community service through rebuilding affordable housing and advocating for their communities both locally and nationally. They learn to advocate for issues that concern them and their communities, and to take responsibility for themselves and their families.
YouthBuild is steadfast in preparing its students for graduation, careers, and postsecondary educational opportunities to give students the greatest range of future options for rewarding and independent lives.
- Renee Chewning
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