Nonprofit aims to elevate students while building community

Michigan

The Program is called YouthBuild. The goal is to give young people a pathway to jobs, and education while getting their hands dirty with a little construction.

The non-profit works with at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 who have somehow disengaged or dropped out of high school. YouthBuild reengages them through training in industry standard construction skills in a 9-10 month program. There is also an opportunity to enroll in a GED earning program. For Program Director Hakim Crampton, it’s all about seeing young people find their place in the community.

“We want to see a group of young adults really come into their own adulthood and independence, especially those students that have a lot of barriers in front of them, having been disengaged from school, and having been high school drop outs. We want to see an opportunity for young people to thrive and succeed in our community,” said Crampton.

Tameka Strouss has seen first-hand what the program can do because she used to be in it. Now, years later, Tameka is using what she learned, and works as the Assistant to the organization itself. For her, it’s all about showing what today’s kids can accomplish despite the odds.

“I think it shows the community that no matter what our young people go through that we can still be successful, and we can still accomplish something, and that we are not stereotyped, and we are not going to be part of a statistic, but we are overcomers,” said Strouss. 

Here is a link for how to get involved. https://www.caajlh.org/youthbuild

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