Latin American Youth Center YouthBuild Public Charter School

WISH LIST: $100: steel-toed work boots for two YouthBuild students; $250: Life Skills assessment for 15 students; $1000: First Aid, CPR, and safety training for 10 students

A small, alternative school, YouthBuild PCS offers 16-24 year-olds who have dropped out, aged out, or been expelled from traditional high schools, a unique second chance. In an intimate, supportive environment students can take classes in English or Spanish, earn a GED diploma, acquire the skills to be successful in college or the workplace, and navigate the transition to adulthood. And this is no mean feat. 100% are low-income; more than a third are parents themselves; another third speak little or no English, and most begin with extremely low math and reading levels often the reasons that they dropped out in the first place. Students alternate between the classroom (reading, science, math; job-readiness and life skills), a construction site (building affordable housing units), and service learning opportunities (creating community gardens and cleaning up local rivers). So building means many things: building knowledge, character, homes, lives. Young people who often feel that they have nothing to offer leave YouthBuild PCS with a different perspective: I built that, they say. They have built even more.