YouthBuild is proof that an innovative investment in low-income youths can unleash their intelligence and positive energy and enable them to rebuild both their communities and their lives. Young people in low-income communities want opportunities to learn, to lead, to do meaningful work and to rebuild their neighborhoods, and will do so if given the chance. Over the last 20 years, YouthBuild has shown that the desire to serve and to do work that is of value to other people is universal. Unlike most vocational-training programs, YouthBuild addresses job skills and life challenges, reconnecting youth with community, leadership roles, higher education and well-paid jobs. YouthBuild has developed a successful, replicable model that transforms the lives of individuals and communities. Since 1994, working closely with local unions, more than 68,000 young people most organizations would have considered “throwaway kids” have participated in building more than 16,000 units of affordable housing in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. But there is still a huge unmet need. YouthBuild currently serves approximately 5,500 youths per year out of the two million who are unemployed and live in poverty.
“Working with Kikim Media to produce a film that is powerful and deep about the transformation process for students in YouthBuild was a wonderful experience in itself, and showing the film to people in every possible venue communicates the essence of what we do so much faster and better than I could in a much shorter time, leaving beautiful visual images. We have ordered 1,000 copies.”
-Dorothy Stoneman, Chief Executive Officer, YouthBuild USA